NTSB Identification: LAX01LA052.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 11, 2000 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172H, registration: N4959R
Injuries: 2 Serious.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot filed a visual flight plan to practice night landings. He contacted the tower about 1930, when approximately 5 miles west of the airport, and reported inbound for touch-and-go landings. The pilot was instructed to enter a right downwind for runway 26R, and to change to the correct frequency. The pilot said he did not have the current Automated Terminal Information Service (ATIS) for weather information, and was given the current weather after he changed frequencies. The controller noticed the airplane just west of "Poggi" VOR (2.3 nautical miles north of the runways), and it appeared to be headed northbound away from the airport. The controller asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight and he responded he did not, but that he was practicing some maneuvers and was a little busy in the cockpit. A couple of minutes later the airplane was observed to be about 7 miles north. The controller advised the pilot to report the prison if he was still inbound for a right base entry for runway 26R. The next readable transmission from the airplane was "encountering some soup." According to the operator, upon entering clouds, the pilot started a 75 mph climb, followed by a right turn just before impact. The pilot did not respond to additional calls from the controller and was no longer observed on the D-Brite radar system. The airplane had collided with a 2,791-foot mountain about 7 miles north of the intended airport. According to VFR charts, the maximum elevation figure for the accident quadrangle/sector is 4,100 feet mean sea level.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and weather evaluation that resulted in the inadvertant entry into instrument meteorological conditions while conducting visual flight. A factor was fog and the night visual conditions. Full narrative available
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