NTSB Identification: LAX05FA175.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 15, 2005 in Palm Springs, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 182M, registration: N333LP
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 mountainous terrain in a box canyon while attempting to reverse course. The pilot originally indicated that he would fly westbound direct to a navigation fix at 8,500 feet, and then direct to his destination airport. After takeoff, the controller instructed him to fly a heading of 280 degrees to provide clearance for a jet departure behind him. The pilot then changed to a southbound departure to another landmark with the intention of proceeding direct to his destination airport. The pilot contacted departure control that he was at 1,800 feet, and climbing to 8,500 feet. They informed him that they had radar contact, and instructed him to resume his own navigation. The pilot turned west, and then south to approximately 190 degrees. As he passed the western end of a landmark street near the airport, he turned to the west, up the accident canyon. The radar track showed the airplane heading about 280 degrees at a mode C reported altitude of 2,700 feet msl. The last radar return had the airplane turning left at 3,100 feet, in an area of steeply rising terrain to the west, about 0.7 miles north of the accident site. The airplane came to rest on an easterly heading on the south side of the canyon. The nose of the airplane abutted a rock face. After disassembling the engine, investigators did not discover any anomalies that would have prevented normal engine operation and production of rated horsepower.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision, and his failure to maintain clearance while maneuvering in rising terrain, resulting in an in-flight collision with terrain.

Full narrative available

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