NTSB Identification: SEA07FA106.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 18, 2007 in Tehachapi, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N8168N
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.

During a VFR cross country flight over mountainous terrain, the airplane encountered deteriorating weather conditions. Weather satellite images show clouds in the vicinity of the accident site, with mountain waves just south of it. The surface chart indicated that a cold front was moving through the area. A resident in the vicinity of the accident site reported that on the morning of the accident, the weather was bad and he was unable to see the top of the mountain. Radar data indicated that the airplane was flying a constant altitude and course during its last three minutes of recorded flight. The last radar return was about one nautical mile short of the impact site, which was located on rugged mountainous and heavily forested terrain. There were no witnesses to the accident. No evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction was noted during the post accident inspections.

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

The pilot's VFR flight into IMC and his ensuing failure to maintain terrain clearance. Contributing factors were the cloudy weather conditions and the mountainous terrain.

Full narrative available

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