NTSB Identification: LAX01LA149.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 18, 2001 in Lancaster, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172B, registration: N4672L
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor.
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 attempted to climb the airplane into rising terrain in a box canyon. Surface wind at 18 knots with gusts to 24 knots formed a downdraft on the lee side of a ridge forming one side of the canyon. The density altiude was 5,000 feet. The pilot reported the aircraft "experienced involuntary descent" and despite full engine power the aircraft was "unable to gain/maintain altiude resulting in [a] forced landing." He also reported he "put in a little flap to keep from settling." No mechanical anomalies were found with the airplane.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's delay reversing course while flying toward rising terrain in a box canyon. Factors in the accident included a downdraft on the lee side of a ridge forming the box canyon, high density altitude, and the pilot's improper use of flaps. Full narrative available
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