ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44220
Last updated: 18 June 2013
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Narrative:The airplane impacted a hill about 34 miles north of the destination airport. The accident occurred under dark, nighttime, visual meteorological conditions. The airplane was en route on a 57-mile cross-country flight through a valley. The pilot frequently used the airplane to commute between the departure and destination points, accruing thousands of hours in the valley. The airplane wreckage was on a hill with about a 25-degree slope and located about 275 feet below the ridgeline's top. A heavily traveled highway was situated adjacent to the hill in the same north-south orientation as the route of flight. The wreckage distribution path was 400 feet long on a magnetic bearing of about 340 degrees. An examination of the impact ground scars disclosed that the airplane was in controlled flight in a near level configuration when it collided with the terrain. At the time of the accident, the moon was 3.7 degrees above the eastern horizon but blocked by mountains to the east. It is likely the lights from the automobiles on the highway would have been visible to the pilot, but there were no lights to distinguish the rising terrain. During the wreckage examination of the airframe's structure and the engine, no evidence of any preimpact failures or malfunctions was found.
|Operator:||Trueman Kirk Peek|
|C/n / msn:|| 18263611|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Big Pine, CA -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Bishop, CA (BIH)|
|Destination airport:||Lone Pine, CA (O26)|
CAUSE: the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate terrain clearance altitude during a cruise descent that resulted in controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). Factors in the accident were the rising mountainous terrain, the dark nighttime lighting condition.
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