NTSB Identification: LAX05CA257.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 31, 2005 in Trinity Center, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Cessna A150M, registration: N8166V
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with mountainous terrain during an en route climb on a course that took it into a box canyon. After a day of physical exertion, the pilot departed from the airport and headed for a pass in mountainous terrain. He noted that the temperature at the 2,390-foot mean sea level (msl) airport was about 90-degrees Fahrenheit. As he approached the pass, about 20 minutes into the flight, he realized that deceptively level-looking terrain below was in actuality the relatively steep walls of a narrowing canyon. The pilot noted the air becoming more turbulent and an increase in downdraft conditions. He attempted to maneuver the airplane out of the canyon, but did not have adequate altitude and made a forced landing onto a logging road, at an elevation of about 6,000 feet msl. Prior to touchdown, the left wing impacted a tree and the airplane subsequently landed hard on the road. The pilot egressed the airplane as it became engulfed in flames. The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. Using the standard lapse rate of 3-degrees Celsius per 1,000 feet of altitude, the density altitude was calculated to be about 8,600 feet at the accident site.

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

the pilot's failure to select an adequate altitude, which would assure clearance from the mountainous terrain while flying into a box canyon in high density altitude conditions.

Full narrative available

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