NTSB Identification: LAX85FA156.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 27751.
Accident occurred Tuesday, February 26, 1985 in NEWPORT BEACH, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N714WJ
Injuries: 3 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 STUDENT PLT TOOK OFF ON A DARK NIGHT IN MARGINAL WX CONDITIONS WITH 2 PASSENGERS OCCUPYING THE ONLY PASSENGER SEAT. ABOUT 17 MIN LATER, THE ACFT WAS OBSERVED IN A LOW PASS OVER A PIER AT NEWPORT BEACH, CA, FLYING TOWARD THE OPEN OCEAN. AFTER CROSSING OVER THE PIER AREA, THE ACFT ENTERED A TURN, DESCENDED INTO THE OCEAN, CRASHED & SANK IN ABOUT 40 FT OF WATER. BOTH PASSENGERS WERE FOUND IN THE ACFT. THE PLT'S BODY WAS FOUND ON 3/21/85 ABOUT 4 MI SOUTH OF THE ACCIDENT SITE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND DURING THE INVESTIGATION. A WITNESS REPORTED THAT THE ENG SOUNDED FINE PRIOR TO IMPACT. TOXICOLOGY CHECKS OF THE PLT REVEALED HE HAD A BLOOD/ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.15%, BRAIN TISSUE HAD 0.2 MICROGRAMS/GRAM OF COCAINE, & LIVER TISSUE HAD 0.4 MICROGRAMS/GRAM OF BENZOYLECGONINE. HOWEVER, THEAMOUNT OF ALCOHOL DUE TO PUTREFACTION WAS NOT VERIFIED. THE PASSENGERS WERE FOUND IN THE ACFT ABOUT 6 HRS AFTER THE ACCIDENT. THEY TESTED POSITIVE FOR ALCOHOL, COCAINE & BENZOYLECGONINE. ACFT ESTD TO BE 124 LBS OVR ITS MAX GROSS WT LMT.

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:

ALTITUDE..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

IMPAIRMENT(DRUGS)..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

AIRCRAFT WEIGHT AND BALANCE..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..FOG


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

VISUAL/AURAL PERCEPTION..PILOT IN COMMAND




Contributing Factors

SPATIAL DISORIENTATION..PILOT IN COMMAND

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