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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133416
Last updated: 21 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-161
Owner/operator:Van Nuys Flight Center
Registration: N2500Y
C/n / msn: 28-8516073
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Devore, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:LAS
Destination airport:VNY
Investigating agency: NTSB
On July 30, 1994, at 1917 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28-161, N2500Y, sustained substantial damage during a precautionary landing at Devore, California. The aircraft was operated by Van Nuys Flight Center and was on a solo student instructional cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a VFR flight plan had been filed for the operation. The flight originated from Van Nuys airport at 1400 on the day of the mishap.

The pilot stated that on the initial leg of his flight he did not experience any problems or notice anything unusual. After making a touch-and-go landing at Barstow-Daggett airport, he noticed the aircraft was slow in climbing back to his planned cruising altitude of 7,500 feet. The pilot said he attributed the performance to higher ambient temperatures and continued on to MaCarran International airport, his planned stopover point. The approach and landing were uneventful.

The pilot reported being on the ground in Las Vegas, Nevada, for 40 minutes. During this stop, the aircraft was refueled. On engine start, the pilot stated that the aircraft "started rough." Again, he attributed the event to the high ambient temperature. He stated that, as before, his rate of climb to his planned cruising altitude of 8,500 feet was slower than he expected.

During the flight, the pilot maintained a close watch on the aircraft's EGT gauge to ensure that the engine was properly leaned. He also noted that the ammeter reading went from 2 to 0 during this leg of the flight.

As the pilot crossed Baker, California, he heard a marker beacon aural signal, along with a constant high-pitched tone. He reported that shortly thereafter, the number one communication radio quit. He reached that conclusion because the face of the radio blacked out. Five minutes later, the number two communication radio quit in the same manner, and after less than a minute, the transponder quit as well. He then turned on his hand-held receiver, but only heard static.

At a point the pilot estimated was about midway between Daggett and Palmdale, he became uncertain about his location relative to his planned route of flight. He also described a growing concern about what he described as decreasing visibility and impending darkness. In an attempt to identify landmarks along his route, the pilot decided to descend from his cruising altitude of 8,500 to 6,500 feet.

The pilot identified what he thought was the 14 Freeway and began following it in a southerly direction and continued descending through 6,500 feet. As the flight progressed, the pilot stated that all the instruments on the right side of the panel "went out." About 2 to 3 minutes later, all the instruments on the left side of the panel "went out" as well. He continued his descent down to 4,500 feet, and then finally down to 3,500 feet, believing he was in the San Gabriel Valley.

The pilot stated that he saw the words "San Bernardino" on a building and concluded that he was well east of his intended position. He began a reconnaissance of the area looking for an airport in order to make a precautionary landing, but determined that what he had identified as an airport was not of adequate length. He next identified a dirt road near the freeway and determined that it was adequate for landing.

Since he was concerned about stalling the aircraft on approach, he added approximately 10 knots to the normal approach speed. After the aircraft touched down, the aircraft would not stop in time to avoid rolling into an intersection with a paved highway. The aircraft struck a wooden pole, partially veered off the dirt road, and went into a ditch, stopping short of the intersection. The pilot was able to exit the aircraft unassisted.

The operator reported that the aircraft's alternator had "gone off line." The pilot did not report any attempts to troubleshoot or identify the problem, nor did he report referring to the aircraft's check list or operator's manual.
PROBABLE CAUSE:was the failu


NTSB id 20001206X01796

Revision history:

21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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