NTSB Identification: LAX84FA068.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 23095.
Accident occurred Sunday, November 20, 1983 in WIKIEUP, AZ
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-236, registration: N4291R
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.

BEFORE TAKING OFF, THE PLT OBTAINED 2 WX BRIEFINGS & WAS ADVISED THAT VFR FLT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. HE DEPARTED AT 1730. SEVERAL REQUESTS WERE MADE FOR EN ROUTE WX FROM LAS VEGAS FLT WATCH. AT 1945, THE PLT DECLARED AN EMERGENCY & INDICATED THAT HE WAS LOST. HE REPORTED THAT HE WAS IN & OUT OF THE CLOUDS AT 6500 FT MSL & HE BELIEVED HE WAS OVER THE COLORADO RIVER. ATC HAD DIFFICULTY IDENTIFYING THE ACFT DUE TO HIS LOW ALT OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. AT 2015, THE PLT WAS ADVISED THAT HIS POSITION WAS 42 MI EAST OF NEEDLES, CA. HE REPORTED TRACKING 260 DEG TO NEEDLES, DETOURING AROUND CLOUDS. THE LAST COMMUNICATION WAS AT 2023 WHEN HE SAID HE ALMOST HIT A MOUNTAIN, HAD TO DESCEND & WAS TURNING BACK. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE ACFT COLLIDED WITH A 45 DEG SLOPE AT 6500 FT MSL.

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:

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


Contributing Factors

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


Contributing Factors

FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER..INITIATED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..HIGH TERRAIN


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..CLOUDS


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..RISING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

LACK OF TOTAL INSTRUMENT TIME..PILOT IN COMMAND

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