NTSB Identification: LAX05FA213.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2005 in Mt. Shasta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-180, registration: N4506J
Injuries: 1 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.

While in controlled flight, the airplane collided into rising, high mountainous terrain (CFIT) at the 11,850-foot mean sea level (msl) of Mt. Shasta, about 2,400 feet below the summit. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed in the vicinity. Prior to departure, the pilot had received a weather briefing, and the weather conditions were essentially as forecasted. The cloud bases were between 7,000 and 8,000 feet msl, and the tops extended to 16,000 feet. The upper portion of Mt. Shasta was obscured by the clouds. As evidenced by the airplane's recorded radar track, after departure the pilot climbed to a cruise altitude of 11,500 feet. The pilot had a handheld GPS navigation system, the airplane was equipped with an autopilot, and he was familiar with the flight route. The flight track shown by the recorded radar data was consistent with a direct route between his departure and destination airports, and directly to the accident site. The accident site is in an extremely hazardous avalanche zone on the mountain and neither search and rescue climbers nor Safety Board investigators were able to reach the wreckage. Detailed aerial photographs were taken of the wreckage and reviewed. All aerodynamic surfaces were present at the site. Review of photographs showing the top and bottom surfaces of the airplane revealed no evidence of fire or engine oil leakage.

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

The pilot's continued cruise flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the pilot's controlled flight into high mountainous terrain (CFIT).

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