NTSB Identification: LAX02FA200.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 07, 2002 in SANTA PAULA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N13GT
Injuries: 2 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.
The airplane collided with mountainous terrain during the climb to cruise. A witness stated that the airplane departed runway 22 and began a left crosswind turn at an estimated altitude of 300 feet. The airplane continued the left turn to downwind, and it was close to the mountains. The witness lost sight of the airplane due to low clouds. The witness reacquired the airplane for a few seconds when it was abeam the west end of the airport. He could see that the airplane was maintaining a high climb angle, but he became very concerned because the airplane was now even closer to the mountains. The airplane appeared to be angling towards the mountains. He could not see the mountaintops, but he could see a patch of blue sky ahead of the airplane over the mountains. The airplane collided with a 55-degree slope about 200 feet below the crest of a ridgeline that ran in a northeast-southwest direction. In a post accident examinatinon, control continuity was established and no engine anomalies were noted. A routine aviation weather report for an airport 9 miles west taken 15 minutes prior to the accident reported 800 feet overcast and a visibility of 2 1/2 miles in mist.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's attempted VFR flight into instrument conditions and failure to maintain clearance with the terrain. Full narrative available
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