NTSB Identification: LAX87FA196.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36631.
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 29, 1987 in NEWHALL, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N8444A
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.

AT ABOUT 1440 PDT, THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT DEPD ANTIOCH CA, ON A FLT TO BURBANK, CA. NO KNOWN IN-FLT COMMUNICATIONSWERE MADE UNTIL THE PLT CONTACTED TRACON AT 1725 PDT. AT THAT TIME, HE RPRTD INBOUND AT 7500' & REQUESTED A SPECIAL VFR CLNC TO THE ARPT. HE WAS TOLD TO MAINT VFR & WAS ADZD THE WX AT BURBANK (ELEV 775') WAS 700' OVERCAST WITH 1 MI VIS, FOG & LGT DRIZZLE. SEVERAL MINUTES LATER, COMMUNICATION WITH THE ACFT WAS LOST. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT CRASHED ON A RIDGELINE APRX 9 MI NNW OF THE BURBANK ARPT. IMPACT OCCURRED IN A SHALLOW, WINGS LEVEL DESCENT AT AN ELEVATION OF ABOUT 2600'. NO PREIMPACT PART MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE WAS EVIDENT. NO RECORD WAS FOUND OF A PRE-FLT WX BRIEFING. MTNS TOPS IN THE AREA WERE FORECAST TO BE OBSCURED; CLOUD TOPS WERE RPRTD AT 4500'. TRACES OF MEDICATION (METABOLITES OF CHLORPHENIRAMINE & BENZODIAZIPINE) WERE DETECTED ONLY IN THE PLT'S URINE; TOXICOLOGY TESTS OF HIS BLOOD WERE NEGATIVEFOR ALCOHOL & DRUGS.

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

PROPER ALTITUDE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

VFR FLIGHT INTO IMC..CONTINUED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..RAIN


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..OBSCURATION

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