On March 6, 1994, at 0306 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 210-5A, N4810U, impacted rising terrain during the takeoff initial climb from the Jackpot, Nevada, airport. The aircraft was on a personal cross-country flight during the hours of darkness. Visual meteorological conditions were prevalent at the time and no flight plan had been filed for the operation. The aircraft was destroyed during the impact sequence. The certificated private pilot and two passengers were seriously injured, and the third passengers sustained fatal injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident as a flight to Gooding, Idaho.

The accident occurred during the hours of darkness and no moon was visible. The Jackpot airport is in an area of rolling hills and the only ground reference lights are in the immediate area of the runway and the adjacent casino. The pilot did not have an instrument rating.

In his written statement, the pilot said that he did not experience a mechanical failure or malfunction. He reported that he lifted off runway 15 and began a 400-foot per minute climb at a normal airspeed, then began a left turn. The pilot stated that the attitude indicator was showing slightly less than a 20-degree bank turn as the heading indicator was going through 100 degrees when "we dropped out of the sky."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector interviewed the pilot shortly after the accident. The pilot reported that as he initiated a crosswind turn after takeoff from runway 15, he lost visual reference with the horizon.

No mechanical discrepancies were noted during an examination of the aircraft.

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