NTSB Identification: LAX04LA239.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 12, 2004 in La Porte, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Champion 7AC, registration: N81471
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 pilot was in the process of photo documenting his privately owned mine in a mountainous area when the right wing of his single engine airplane impacted a tree. The accident site was in a pine forest at the 4,900-foot level of a ravine that paralleled a small creek. The ravine was bordered to the south by a 7,200-foot mountain. According to responding law enforcement personnel, the right wing tip and aileron separated from the remainder of the airplane. The right wing tip and aileron came to rest at the base of a tree and displayed a semicircular indentation about the size of the tree top. The airplane came to rest 50 yards east of the right wing tip in a nose down pitch attitude, with its tail section jutting up into the air. Surrounding trees propped up the airplane. The student pilot rigged a camera system to the right wing strut with a remote monitoring and activation system in the cockpit. The student was not endorsed for the cross-country flight in the mountainous area, and the student's instructor discouraged the student from conducting the flight until he had completed his private pilot course and obtained some mountain flight training. Examination of the wreckage revealed no preexisting anomalies that would have prevented normal operation of the aircraft.

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

the student pilot's failure to maintain clearance with trees while flying along a mountainous ravine.

Full narrative available

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