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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR17LA124
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2018
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N2171D
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The noninstrument-rated private pilot reported that, while en route, he encountered clouds about 2,200 ft above ground level (agl). He descended the airplane to 2,100 ft agl to try to get out of the clouds, but he still could not see outside. The pilot reported that he decided not to climb nor contact air traffic control; the airplane impacted a tree-covered mountain ridge and came to rest upright with its left wing bent aft. The pilot reported no anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The noninstrument-rated pilot's improper decision to continue visual flight rules flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain.