NTSB Identification: LAX01LA197.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 02, 2001 in Cameron Park, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N4848L
Injuries: 1 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 was en route on a cross-country flight when the airplane collided with a tree about 12 miles from the departure airport. The pilot sustained head injuries and did not recall the circumstances leading to the accident. The accident site area is generally flat grass lands with scattered medium height trees. The first identified point of contact was a tree whose top branches were on the ground along with an outboard section of the right wing. A piece of right wing flap was near the first identified ground scar. The ground scar continued to the main wreckage, and various pieces of the airplane were in the debris field. Recorded radar data was obtained and reviewed. The departure airport had an elevation of 1,286 feet. A radar target consistent with the expected time and location of the accident flight appeared northwest of the airport on a northwest track and climbing through 1,700 feet. The target turned to the southwest, and maintained an altitude that varied between 2,300 to 2,500 feet. About 5 minutes into the flight the target track shifted left of course and began descending. The last recorded radar return occurred about 200 feet above ground level and on course for the accident site. There was no evidence of premishap catastrophic mechanical malfunction or fire. The carburetor and fuel pump contained fuel. No anomalies were found that would have precluded normal engine operation. The propeller remained attached to the crankshaft. The blades displayed leading edge gouging, torsional twisting, chordwise striations across the cambered surface, and trailing edge S-bending.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate clearance altitude from en route obstructions.

Full narrative available

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