NTSB Identification: LAX89FA137.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42162.
Accident occurred Monday, March 27, 1989 in WHITMORE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N7293P
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.

THE PILOT RECEIVED A PREFLIGHT WX BRIEFING. THE BRIEFING FORECASTED MODERATE TURBULENCE, ICING, AND LOW CEILINGS IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WHICH WAS ALONG HIS ROUTE. THE PILOT DEPARTED VFR. HE ENCOUNTERED FORECAST IMC CONDITIONS WHILE EN ROUTE TO HIS DESTINATION. THE PILOT THEN INITIATED A CLIMB AND CONTACTED ATC FOR AN IFR CLEARANCE. ATC CLEARED THE PILOT FOR AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH TO AN AIRPORT OTHER THAN HIS DESTINATION. DURING THE APPROACH, THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED BELOW THE BASE OF THE CLOUDS. THE PILOT CANCELED HIS IFR CLEARANCE AND ATTEMPTED TO PROCEED VFR. MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WAS ALONG HIS ROUTE. ACCORDING TO WITNESSES, THE MOUNTAIN TOPS WERE OBSCURED BY LOW CEILINGS. THE AIRCRAFT WAS SEEN FLYING INTO THE CLOUDS. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO TREES IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO CONTINUE VFR FLIGHT WITH KNOWN FORECAST IMC ALONG HIS ROUTE.

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