NTSB Identification: LAX02FA019.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 31, 2001 in Little River, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 182S, registration: N7270E
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.

While making a Visual Flight Rules approach in Instrument Flight Rules conditions, the airplane impacted trees and terrain 1.5 miles from the airport. There is no record that the pilot requested or received a weather briefing for the flight. A witness at the airport said that he heard an aircraft circling in the vicinity of the airport; however, he could not see it because of the low clouds and fog over the field. Using his hand-held radio on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) 122.7, the witness established contact with the pilot. The pilot said he was trying to land at the airport, and at one point could see the runway lights through the fog, but had lost sight of the runway. The witness then heard the aircraft continue to the east at what sounded like a reduced power setting. The witness did not hear any unusual engine sounds emanating from the airplane. There was no further communications from the pilot. A resident living near the crash site heard the sounds of an impact and reported the event to the sheriff's department. Search efforts were hampered by fog and low visibility conditions and the wreckage was not located until about 1000 the next day. The accident site is 1.5 miles north east of the airport at an elevation about 200 feet higher than the runway. The airport manager estimated the visibility to be about 1-mile with a 300-foot ceiling. Examination of the engine and airframe revealed no discrepancies.

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

the pilot's continued VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a collision with trees and terrain.

Full narrative available

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