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On January 9, 1996, at 0914 hours Pacific standard time, a Partenavia, AF68TP Spartacus, N3116C, was destroyed after an uncontrolled descent into the Pacific ocean about 14 miles west-southwest of El Segundo, California. The pilot was presumed to have been fatally injured. According to a company search pilot, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident area about 1.5 hours after the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed for the positioning flight which originated at Oxnard, California, on the morning of the accident for a flight to San Diego, California.
The aircraft departed Oxnard on a special VFR clearance. The tops of the clouds were reported to be about 1,200 feet msl. The aircraft transitioned southbound through the NAWS Point Mugu airspace. The Point Mugu radar approach control monitored the aircraft on radar for about 25 miles. The pilot was subsequently given a frequency change to SOCAL Tracon. There was no contact made with that facility. A search was initiated when the aircraft failed to arrive at the intended destination. A review of the recorded radar data revealed the aircraft was level at 1,800 feet msl and then climbed to about 2,000 feet msl, at which time it disappeared from radar.
According to the operator, the ATP rated pilot had accumulated 8,963 total flight hours with over 1,000 hours in the airplane make and model. He had flown 32 hours in the past 30 days. On November 29,1995, he had successfully passed a first-class flight physical with no limitations.
The airplane had accumulated 4,540 total flight hours. The last annual inspection was conducted 25 hours prior to the accident on December 19, 1995.
The aircraft was equipped with a King KFC-150, autopilot system.
The Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) scheduled weather observation at 0950 hours reported 500 feet scattered, 25,000 feet scattered, visibility 1.5 miles with fog and haze, temperature and dew point 57 degrees Fahrenheit, wind 120 degrees at 3 knots, and the altimeter was 30.17 inHg of mercury.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was not located. According to the U. S. Coast Guard (USCG), the water depth at the accident area was estimated to be between 2,700 and 3,000 feet deep.
The identification of the aircraft was made from personal baggage and items belonging to the pilot, as well as components and paperwork from the aircraft that were found floating and retrieved by the USCG, and the Los Angeles County Harbor Master.