NTSB Identification: LAX82FA110
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 17, 1982 in ALPINE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/17/1983
Aircraft: MOONEY M20K, registration: N231AM
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.

AFTER BEING CLEARED FROM 8000 FEET DOWN TO 6000 FEET THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER REALIZED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS IN TROUBLE WHEN THE MODE C ALTITUDE INDICATED 3600 FEET. HE RECEIVED NO UNDERSTANDABLE RESPONSE FROM THE PILOT WHEN ASKED ABOUT ALTITUDE OR HEADING. RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST SHORTLY AFTERWARD. DURING THE PREFLIGHT WEATHER BRIEFING FROM THE ALBUQUERQUE FSS IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE PILOT LAND SHORT OF HIS DESTINATION TO OBTAIN A WEATHER UPDATE DUE TO FORECAST ICING AND TURBULENCE. THE AIRCRAFT WAS FOUND TO HAVE IMPACTED AT A NEAR VERTICAL ANGLE WITH NO FORWARD TRAVEL.

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

FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER..ATTEMPTED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..ICING CONDITIONS


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..RAIN


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..TURBULENCE


Contributing Factors

STALL/SPIN..INADVERTENT..PILOT IN COMMAND

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