NTSB Identification: WPR11CA036
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, November 01, 2010 in Seligman, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: AEROSTAR ACFT CORP OF TEXAS M20E, registration: N9614V
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, he turned to his intended heading and climbed to a predetermined cruise altitude to maintain clearance from terrain during the night visual flight rules cross-country flight. Following an uneventful cruise phase of the flight, the pilot observed what he believed to be his destination airport and initiated a descent. The pilot stated that he was unable to turn on the airport runway lights and decided to continue the descent to the airport's traffic pattern altitude of 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl) while circling the airport. During the second circle and descent, the pilot aborted the descent and began to initiate a climb whereupon the airplane impacted terrain at an elevation of about 5,200 feet msl. The pilot reported that he was surprised when local law enforcement informed him that he was in Seligman, Arizona, instead of his intended destination of Boulder City, Nevada. The pilot reported that there were no pre-impact anomalies with the airplane that would have contributed to the accident and that "all systems were working." The pilot added that prior to the flight; he estimated an approximate heading and altitude needed for the flight to his destination airport.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight and in-flight planning.

Full narrative available

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