NTSB Identification: LAX86FA107.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 31864.
Accident occurred Thursday, February 06, 1986 in FORT BRAGG, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/25/1988
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N8338N
Injuries: 4 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.

AFTER ARRIVING AT THE MENDOCINO COUNTY ARPT, AT ABOUT 1630 PST, THE PLT & PAX OBTAINED A CAR & WENT TO MENDOCINO FOR DINNER. DRG THE EVENING, THEY CONSUMED SVRL DRINKS & HAD A BOTTLE OF WINE WITH THEIR DINNER, THEN WENT BACK TO THE ARPT. ALTHO IT WAS A DARK NGT, THE PLT TOOK OFF (TWD THE OCEAN AT APRX 2200 PST) WITHOUT ACTIVATING THE RWY LGTS. AFTER TAKEOFF, THE ACFT DEPARTED ON A SOUTHERLY HDG OVR AN AREA WITH 'VERY FEW GROUND LIGHTS.' SUBSEQUENTLY, IT CRASHED IN A REDWOOD FOREST ABOUT 1 MI SOUTH OF THE ARPT. AN INV REVEALED THAT THE INITIAL IMPACT OCCURRED WHILE THE ACFT WAS DSCNDG IN A SHALLOW DIVE ON A WESTERLY HDG. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE/MALFUNCTION WAS FND. A TOXICOLOGY CHECK INDICATED THE PLT HAD AN ALCOHOL LVL OF 0.204%. THE LAST ENTRY IN HIS LOG BOOK FOR A NGT FLT WAS DATED 5/15/83.

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

JUDGMENT..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

IMPAIRMENT(ALCOHOL)..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

AIRCRAFT HANDLING..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..TREE(S)


Contributing Factors

LACK OF RECENT EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OPERATION..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT

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