NTSB Identification: LAX08FA002
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, October 05, 2007 in Oak Hills, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2008
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N6549W
Injuries: 1 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 cruise flight in dark night conditions, the pilot stated to air traffic control that he was at 3,700 feet over the freeway interchange at the base of a mountain pass. The pilot transmitted to the controller that he could not climb because he had clouds above him that he could not climb through. The accident site was at the summit of the pass at an approximate elevation of 4,196 feet. A deputy sheriff was traversing the pass in the area of the accident site just prior to the accident and he noted heavy fog and very limited visibility at the top of the pass. As he proceeded down the hill, the visibility improved as he dropped below the clouds and he observed an airplane flying up toward the pass. Ground scars and impact signatures were consistent with controlled flight into terrain. Investigators found no anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions and failure to maintain terrain clearance during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident were mountainous terrain, dark night, and fog.

Full narrative available

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