NTSB Identification: WPR12FA349
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 10, 2012 in Santa Monica, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA P210N, registration: N41KA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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.

On August 10, 2012, about 1811 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna P210N, N41KA, impacted trees and terrain about 3 miles northeast of the Santa Monica Airport (SMO), Santa Monica, California. The private pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. The pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage in the post impact fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed SMO about 1745, and no flight plan had been filed.

According to a Los Angeles City firefighter/paramedic, he was about a block away clearing a call when he heard tree branches snapping. He turned around and saw the accident airplane in a nose down attitude. The airplane struck a 30-foot-tall palm tree, rotated 90 degrees, and dropped straight down. The airplane was then involved in a post-crash fire. The witness stated that he did not recall hearing the sound of the airplaneā€™s engine.

The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (NTSB IIC) and an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) responded to the accident site. The accident path was along a heading of 140 degrees magnetic (S. Glendon Avenue). Several trees were impacted along the path by the airplane before it impacted a palm tree. The investigation team noted a witness mark on the top 1/3 of the palm tree. The entire airplane came to rest at the accident site.

The airplane was recovered and taken to a secure facility for further examination.

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