NTSB Identification: LAX06CA118.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 16, 2006 in Willits, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Mooney M20F, registration: N9704M
Injuries: 2 Serious,2 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 impacted a tree on short final after the pilot inadvertently entered a low-lying area of ground fog and lost visual contact with the runway. The pilot was not current for night flights and hired a certified flight instructor (CFI) to assist in the night flight. The pilot activated the pilot controlled medium intensity runway edge lights over the common traffic advisory frequency. While the flight was on final approach, the airplane inadvertently entered an area of low-lying ground fog and descended too low. The CFI applied full power but the airplane impacted a tree with the right wing.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain visual contact with the runway at night, which resulted in a descent below the proper glide path and a collision with a tree. Also causal was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the flight.

Full narrative available

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