NTSB Identification: LAX89FA078.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40515.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 05, 1989 in SAN BERNARDINO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N5157L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

ACCIDENT SITE IN PASS AT AN ELEVATION 3,200 FT MSL, 1/2 MILE FROM INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. 10,000 FT MOUNTAINS BOTH SIDES. SHERIFF'S HELO PILOTS FLYING PATROL BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE ACCIDENT TIME FRAME REPORTED RAPIDLY FORMING AND DISSIPATING STRATUS CLOUDS WHICH OBSCURED THE HILL SIDES AND FLOOR OF THE PASS. THE PILOT HAD ARRANGED FOR A COWORKER TO PICK HIM UP AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT. THE PILOT HAD RECENTLY OBTAINED 13 HOURS OF INSTRUMENT DUAL INSTRUCTION.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT AFTER ENCOUNTERING INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS WHILE ATTEMPTING TO TRANSIT THROUGH A MOUNTAIN PASS. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WAS: THE PILOT'S SELF-INDUCED PRESSURE KNOWING THAT A CO-WORKER WAS PROBABLY WAITING FOR HIM AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT; OVER CONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY AFTER HAVING RECENTLY RECEIVED INSTRUMENT DUAL INSTRUCTION; AND THE ADVERSE WEATHER AND TERRAIN CONDITIONS.

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