NTSB Identification: LAX89FA319.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42401.
Accident occurred Tuesday, September 19, 1989 in OJAI, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/07/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 310K, registration: N6958L
Injuries: 2 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.

PRIOR TO DEPARTURE THE PILOT RECEIVED AN ABBREVIATED WX BRIEFING IN PERSON FROM THE RENO FSS, AND WAS GIVEN THE ADVERSE WX CONDITIONS & CURRENT WX FOR HIS PLANNED ROUTE OF FLIGHT. HE WAS ALSO ADVISED THAT VFR FLIGHT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. THE AIRPLANE WAS LATER OBSERVED FLYING OVER A HIGHWAY AT LOW ALTITUDE; WHICH THE WITNESSES DEFINED AS NOT HIGH ENOUGH TO CLEAR A MOUNTAIN RIDGE. THE TOP OF THE RIDGE LINE WAS OBSCURED, & THE AIRPLANE WAS IN & OUT OF THE BOTTOM OF THE CLOUDS. THERE WERE ALSO RAINSHOWERS IN THE AREA. THE RIGHT SEAT PILOT ALSO HELD AN ATP CERTIFICATE. HE WAS BEING TREATED FOR GLAUCOMA & WAS TAKING THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ISOPTO CARPINE (PILOCARPINE). THE DANGER OF ADVERSE REACTIONS OR SIDE EFFECTS OF THE DRUG INCREASES WITH THE USE OF ALCOHOL. THESE EFFECTS INCLUDE REDUCED VISUAL ACUITY. THE RIGHT SEAT PILOT WAS WITH A GROUP THAT REPORTED HAD A FEW COCKTAILS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S INTENTIONAL VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE ALTITUDE TO PROVIDE TERRAIN CLEARANCE. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE: THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN, ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND THE SECOND PILOT'S POSSIBLE REDUCED VISION DUE TO HIS VISION PROBLEM AND MEDICATION.

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