NTSB Identification: LAX05FA034.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 13, 2004 in Lake Havasu, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2006
Aircraft: Beech A36, registration: N6111C
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 aircraft collided with hilly desert terrain 8 miles west of the destination airport after encountering instrument meteorological conditions. The pilot did not hold an instrument rating. Radar information was obtained, tracking the departing airplane's target at a takeoff time of 1703:34 from El Monte, California. The recorded route of flight of the eastbound target continued up to the last radar return at 1832:31, at a Mode C altitude of 8,300 feet mean sea level (msl) (7,000 feet above ground level (agl)). The highly fragmented and burned wreckage was found about 1/2-mile west of the last recorded radar position spread out over a 130-foot-long debris field on a magnetic heading of 160 degrees. According to the Unicom operator, about 1815, a light rain storm with some lightning passed through the airport traffic area, moving approximately southeast to northwest (toward the accident site), and clearing about 1825. About 1821, an unidentified aircraft called the Unicom operator and the pilot asked about the weather. The operator provided the weather from the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) monitor screen, and asked the pilot where the aircraft was coming from. The pilot responded "L.A. area, 35 out at 8,500," and reported that he could see Bullhead City, Arizona, off his left wing. The pilot asked for the runway in use, and the operator gave "32 left traffic." About 1825 to 1827, a call came over the Unicom radio stating "Hey Unicom I'm in trouble." There were no responses to several calls from the Unicom operator. At 1815 , the AWOS was reporting 3,000 feet scattered, 4,000 broken, and 11,000 overcast. The wind was 330 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 23 knots. Using radar, satellite imagery, and upper air soundings, a meteorological analysis found that visual conditions generally existed along the airplane's route of flight until the immediate area of the accident site where merging cloud layers were present, with bases at 300 feet agl and tops to 22,000 feet. Light rain showers likely existed at the accident site.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions leading to spatial disorientation and an in-flight loss of control. Full narrative available
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