LAX93LA317
LAX93LA317

On August 9, 1993, about 1700 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150, N45552, collided with mountainous terrain during cruise flight near Julian, California. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and a post accident fire. The certificated private pilot and his passenger received serious injuries. The local personal flight departed Carlsbad, California, about 1620 hours. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed.

An FAA safety inspector interviewed the passenger after the accident. In that interview, the passenger reported that he and the pilot were on a "pleasure" flight and they were sight seeing in the vicinity of the Cleveland National Forest. He said they were flying upslope in a canyon. He said he noticed wires in front of the airplane and mentioned them to the pilot. He reported the pilot said he saw the wires. The passenger said the pilot then turned the airplane to the left and then returned to a wings level attitude. The passenger said the airplane then collided with the upsloping terrain. The passenger also reported that the airplane's engine was running "fine" and there were no apparent problems with the airplane.

In his written statement, the pilot said he checked the airplane's weight and balance before departing. He said the "weight and balance showed slightly over gross with pilot 185#, passenger 250#." He said that during the flight he began a gentle climb and then increased the rate of climb to the best rate of climb with full power applied. He said the airplane "did not seem to climb properly and I did not think I had adequate room to do a 180 degree turn." The pilot said as they passed over a waterfall he opted for a shallow gully to the left and flew up it staying in the center of the gully. He said "about 300 yards up the gully we suddenly spotted wires across our flight path. I made a turn to the left to avoid the wires and struck the bank of the gully."

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