NTSB Identification: LAX03LA096.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 23, 2003 in Palmdale, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 310, registration: N5202A
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with powerlines while diverting to an alternate airport. The pilot stated that the weather conditions deteriorated along his route of flight. He contacted the Flight Service Station (FSS) via radio and was advised the ceiling in Soledad Canyon (the accident location) was about 3,500 feet. The elevation at Soledad Pass on the Los Angeles VFR Terminal Area Chart is 3,225 feet mean sea level (msl). As the pilot entered the canyon, dusk lighting conditions existed and he felt ceiling conditions were lower than those forecast. He decided to divert to an alternate airport instead of continuing on into the canyon. The pilot turned toward the airport and the airplane impacted the powerlines. The airplane then landed at the alternate airport uneventfully. Post accident examination of the airplane revealed damage to both propellers, the nose gear door, and the left tip tank. The closest official weather observation station was reporting a broken ceiling at 3,600 feet, with higher layers.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate terrain/obstacle clearance altitude. Factors in the accident were the low ceilings and the dusk light illumination.

Full narrative available

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