NTSB Identification: LAX84FA460.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 24488.
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 18, 1984 in BAKERSFIELD, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N38916
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.

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT DEPARTED IMPERIAL, CA ON 4/18/84 AT ABOUT 1845 PST. TWO PEOPLE REPORTED THAT AT 2100 TO 2200 PST, THEY SAW AN ACFT CIRCLING IN THE AREA OF CUMMINGS MOUNTAIN, ABOUT 10 MI SOUTH OF THE ACCIDENT SITE, BUT BECAUSE THE MOUNTAIN TOPS WERE OBSCURED WITH CLOUDS & RAIN, THE ACFT DISAPPEARED. WHEN THE ACFT DID NOT ARRIVE AT ITS DESTINATION, A SEARCH WAS BEGUN WHICH LASTED 9 DAYS, BUT THE ACFT WAS NOT FOUND AT THAT TIME. HOWEVER, THE WRECKAGE WAS DISCOVERED ON 8/28/84 WHERE IT HAD CRASHED AT AN ELEVATION OF 3300 FT MSL. ON THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT, THE AREA FORCAST FOR THE VICINITY OF THE CRASH SITE WAS FOR BROKEN TO OVERCAST CLOUDS AT 2000 TO 3000 FT MSL WITH TOPS AT 16,000 FT. AN EXAM OF THE CRASH SITE REVEALED THAT THE ACFT HAD IMPACTED IN A STEEP RIGHT BANK, SLIGHTLY NOSE LOW ATTITUDE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND.

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:

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



Contributing Factors

PLANNING/DECISION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..HIGH TERRAIN


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..RAIN

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