On March 28, 1996, about 1642 hours Pacific standard time, a homebuilt experimental Luckett Flybaby 1A, N71658, collided with mountainous terrain near Castaic, California, while attempting a course reversal in a pass. The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot and was on a personal cross-country flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the accident site. No flight plan was filed. The aircraft was destroyed in the collision sequence. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries. The flight originated at Bakersfield, California, on the day of the accident about 1600 as a flight to Chino.

The accident site is in a pass at the southern end of a mountain valley. A major interstate highway traverses the mountains through this valley. The pass at the southern end of the valley is characterized by rapidly rising and narrowing terrain. U.S. Forest Service workers near the site reported that the pass and the surrounding terrain was obscured by clouds which went to the ground. The aircraft collided with the side of a mountain about 300 feet above the elevation of the highway.

An FAA inspector from the Van Nuys Flight Standards District Office went to the accident site, interviewed witnesses, and examined the aircraft. He reported that the aircraft was traveling southbound over the highway as it approached the pass. The aircraft collided with the terrain as the pilot attempted to turn around in the narrow pass. Control system continuity could not be established throughout the aircraft due to extensive airframe crush deformation. Fuel was present in the tank and no discrepancies were found in the engine.

The pilot did not respond to repeated requests to complete a NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, form 6120.1/2.

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