NTSB Identification: LAX05LA321.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 28, 2005 in Taft, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 150, registration: N1238Q
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted a mountainous, bowl-shaped canyon after about 35 minutes of maneuvering flight. The airplane departed for a routine pipeline patrol and radar data indicated the airplane maneuvered initially to the southwest and then to the northwest of the departure airport. The last 5 radar returns depict the airplane headed south at an altitude of 2,700 feet msl. The last radar return was recorded approximately 0.6 nautical miles northwest of the accident site. The area flown by the airplane was not usually associated with the pilot's patrol missions, and according to the operator, the accident site was not located within the patrol area. Distribution of the wreckage at the accident site indicated the airplane impacted rising terrain on a southwest heading and nosed over coming to rest inverted. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of any pre-impact mechanical discrepancies that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane. The operator reported that the pilot had been conducting patrol missions for 9 years and had accumulated about 9,900 hours of flight time.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance while maneuvering. The mountainous terrain was a factor.

Full narrative available

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