NTSB Identification: LAX07LA143.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 29, 2007 in West Athens, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Beech B36TC, registration: N3172L
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot contacted approach control and requested a visual flight rules (VFR) approach to the airport. During the approach, the pilot attempted to maintain VFR, however, was unable due to low ceilings and haze. The controller then cleared the pilot for a localizer approach to the runway. During the approach, the airplane descended below the minimum descent altitude (MDA) and the controller obtained a minimum safe altitude warning alert. The controller then asked the pilot if he had the airport in sight. The pilot replied that he did not have the airport in sight and he was underneath the clouds. The pilot was cleared to change frequency, and no further communications were received from the pilot. The last radar return for the target was in the area of the accident site at a mode C reported altitude of 300 feet mean sea level (msl), or about 140 feet above ground level. The airplane collided with two static cables located adjacent to a high-tension tower about 1.5 miles east of the airport. The height of the tower was 118 feet and the terrain elevation was 164 feet. The airplane then impacted terrain and came to rest inverted. Examination of the airframe and engine revealed no anomalies. On the morning of the accident, the pilot received his complex and high performance airplane endorsements. At the time of the accident, the pilot had accumulated 237 total flight hours and 15 flight hours in the accident airplane. The accident flight was the pilot's first solo flight in the airplane. Review of the pilot's logbook disclosed that no instrument flights or approaches were recorded in preceding 6 months of logged flights.

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

the pilot's descent below the published minimum descent altitude for the instrument approach procedure, which resulted in a collision with wires and terrain. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's lack of recent experience in the accident airplane and in instrument meteorological conditions, and the night lighting conditions.

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