On March 17, 1994, at 1100 hours Pacific standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C, N99520, collided with some trees in mountainous terrain after encountering instrument meteorological conditions near Stallion Springs, California. The pilot was conducting a visual flight rules personal flight to William J. Fox Airport, Lancaster, California. The airplane, registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed. The certificated private pilot sustained serious injuries and his passenger sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated at Frazier Lake Airpark (1C9), Hollister, California, at 0900 hours. According to the pilot, the flight departed Shafter-Minter Field, Shafter, California, about 1050 hours. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot told the Kern County Coroner's investigator that during the flight he inadvertently entered a cloud. The airplane struck the trees as he was executing a 180-degree turn.
The pilot submitted a Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2. He stated in the report that the airplane was in a cruise climb configuration when he observed a cloud above the ridge line along the airplane's flight path. The airplane's altitude was about 5,000 mean sea level.
The pilot momentarily looked down at his aeronautical sectional chart to check the mountainous terrain altitude. When he looked up, the cloud ". . . seemed to descend . . ." in front of the airplane.
The airplane entered the cloud. The pilot started a 180-degree right turn and then observed a tree. He pulled the airplane's nose up and moments later the airplane struck another tree.
The pilot indicated in the accident report that he did not obtain a weather briefing before departing on the accident flight. He also indicated that the airplane did not experience any mechanical malfunctions or failures.