NTSB Identification: LAX05FA054.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 19, 2004 in La Mirada, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 182P, registration: N9187G
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 a radio transmission tower while on an extended base leg of the traffic pattern at the Fullerton airport in day visual meteorological conditions. The pilot made contact with the control tower, indicating his position, and that he had the current ATIS information. The controller cleared the airplane for a left base entry to the runway. When the airplane was about 3 miles north of the airport the controller cleared the airplane to land. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted the radio transmission tower about 15 feet below the top. A review of the pilot's logbooks revealed that he had been to the airport at least four times prior to the accident flight. At the time of the accident, the sun was about 27 degrees above the horizon and about 20 degrees horizontally from the pilot's flight path. The transmission tower stood about 760 feet above ground level (agl), and was depicted on both the applicable Terminal Area Chart and in the Airport/ Facility Directory. The airport's traffic pattern altitude was 1,100 feet mean sea level (msl) or 1,004 feet agl. Historically, the airport property was used as an aircraft landing field starting in 1913, and has been continuously operated as an airport. The radio tower, located 1.77 nautical miles from the airport, was constructed in 1948. The setting of the altimeter found in the wreckage was in error and the altimeter would have displayed an altitude that was 50 feet higher than the airplane was in actuality.

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

the pilot's inadequate visual lookout and failure to maintain altitude/clearance from a transmission tower while on an extended base leg of the traffic pattern. A factor in the accident was the sun glare condition.

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