NTSB Identification: LAX85FA252.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 28570.
Accident occurred Friday, May 10, 1985 in OCOTILLO WELLS, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N81018
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.

ACCORDING TO WITNESSES ON A DUNE BUGGY & A HONDA TRX 200, THE ACFT WAS FLYING AT LOW ALT IN STRONG WINDS WHEN IT SEEMED TO ENCOUNTER TURBULENCE & GO OUT OF CONTROL. SOME OF THE WITNESSES SAID IT TEMPORARILY LEVELED AT ABOUT 200 FT AGL. ALL AGREED THAT IT WAS AT ABOUT 150 TO 200 FT AGL WHEN IT ENTERED A STEEP DSCNT & CRASHED ON DESERT TERRAIN. AN EXAM REVEALED THE ACFT IMPACTED IN A NOSE LOW, NEARLY WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE. THE PROP SEPARATED DURING IMPACT & EXHIBITEDTORSIONAL OVERLOAD INDICATIONS. THE PROP BLADES WERE TWISTED & HAD GOUGES ON THE LEADING EDGES. A CHECK OF THE PLT'S BLOOD SHOWED AN ALCOHOL LEVEL OF 0.147%. ACCORDING TO AN NTSB WX SUMMARY, THE MEAN SURFACE WIND IN THAT AREA WAS ESTIMATED TO BE FROM 220 DEG AT 22 GUSTING 40 KTS WITH PROBABLE MODERATE TO SEVERE TURBULENCE & UP/DOWNDRAFTS BELOW 10,000 FT. THE WITNESSES ESTIMATED THE WIND WAS FROM 280 DEG AT 40 GUSTING 50 KTS.

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:

STALL..INADVERTENT..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:

COMPENSATION FOR WIND CONDITIONS..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..HIGH WIND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..TURBULENCE


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..DOWNDRAFT

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