NTSB Identification: LAX08LA211
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 02, 2008 in Piru, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N25490
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 was performing a pipeline patrol flight and was maneuvering the airplane at low altitude along an expansive dry riverbed that was in a canyon that was on average about 1-mile wide. The pipeline was buried on the south bank of the river, just below a hillside that defined the southern boundary of the canyon. While following the pipeline the pilot came across an area of recent construction digging that had exposed the pipeline. A witness observed the airplane at a slow airspeed and low altitude near the site of the digging when the left wing suddenly dropped and the airplane dove straight down into a small ravine below. The airplane came to rest about 460 feet from the base of a mountain range that comprised the south wall of a 7,500-foot-wide canyon. No evidence of mechanical malfunction or failure was found during a postaccident examination of the airplane and engine.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at low altitude, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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