NTSB Identification: LAX08FA115
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 18, 2008 in Sonora, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 150J, registration: N60760
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.

A flight instructor and a commercial pilot receiving instruction departed from a pond (at an elevation of approximately 1,100 feet) in the float-equipped airplane. A camera recovered from the wreckage disclosed images indicating that the flight went to a mountain lake where a touch-and-go landing was made. The images indicated that the airplane accomplished this landing with an estimated 10-knot, gusting to 20-knot, headwind. After liftoff from the water, the airplane reversed course toward rising mountainous terrain. The wreckage was located at 5,200-feet, and the terrain in the immediate area of the accident site was level. The airplane came to rest on its nose, with the wreckage evididence indicating a stall/loss of control and vertical descent to the ground. The empennage remained nearly vertical to the terrain and bent down slightly. Both floats were also vertical to the terrain. Postaccident inspection of the airplane found no evidence of any preimpact mechanical discrepancies with the airframe or engine that would have prevented normal operation. The density altitude at the time was estimated as 6,907 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering, resulting in an aerodynamic stall and loss of aircraft control. Contributing to the accident were rising mountainous terrain and a high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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