NTSB Identification: LAX05FA290.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 07, 2005 in Avalon, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 172RG, registration: N9636B
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 crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 2 miles from the north end of an off-shore island. The pilot, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector (operations), sustained fatal injuries. The safety airman, who was also a designated pilot examiner (DPE), is missing and presumed to have sustained fatal injuries. The airplane sank, was not located or recovered, and is presumed to have been destroyed. The cross-country Event Based Currency (EBC) flight departed Avalon Airport about 1220 to return to the flight's origin airport. This currency flight was part of the inspector's FAA currency requirements. Avalon airport's elevation was 1,602 feet mean sea level (msl). Recorded radar data revealed a target with a secondary 1200 visual flight rules (VFR) beacon code at a mode C reported altitude of 1,800 feet msl just west of the departure end of runway 22. The target climbed on a westerly course, and made a right turn toward the north. After reaching the shoreline, the target turned left toward the northwest, and followed the shoreline. During the last minute of flight, the target's altitude remained at mode C altitudes between 2,600 and 2,800 feet until the target disappeared near the accident site coordinates, which was in line with the target's track. Two fishermen in a boat reported that they observed the airplane in at least a 45-degree nose low attitude. The attitude rose to 30 degrees nose low just prior to impacting the water. They observed the airplane float at the surface for a few seconds. It sank before they could reach the accident site location, which took them approximately 90 seconds. They observed one victim in the water, and pulled him aboard.

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

an in-flight loss of control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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