NTSB Identification: LAX88LA011.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 35096.
Accident occurred Friday, October 09, 1987 in SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N4342B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT BECAME DISORIENTED WHEN HE INADVERTENTLY FLEW INTO A LAYER OF FOG WHILE MAKING AN ENROUTE DESCENT FOR LANDING AT HIS DESTINATION. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH TREES WHILE THE PILOT WAS ATTEMPTING TO EXECUTE A CLIMBING COURSE REVERSAL. THE PILOT STATED THAT DURING THE APPROACH HE LOST CONTACT WITH ALL GROUND LIGHTS AND ENTERED A SHARP BANK IN AN EFFORT TO TURN AROUND AND CLIMB. 'THE ABRUPT MANEUVERS AND TOTAL LACK OF GROUND REFERENCE CAUSED ME TO BECOME DISORIENTED.'

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

BECAME LOST/DISORIENTED..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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:

IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

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


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND

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