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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 35958
Last updated: 18 November 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic C150 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 150J
Registration: N50878
MSN: 15069617
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mariposa, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:Atwater, CA (MER)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
During a dark night landing approach, the aircraft collided with trees and terrain while on base leg for runway 26. Following a telephone conversation between the pilot and his wife, during which he indicated that he was emotionally upset, the pilot took off with the intention of flying 26 miles to his home-base airport. The uncontrolled airport's rotating beacon, runway lights, and visual approach slope indicator system (VASI) were functional. As the pilot approached the airport he made several radio transmissions during which he indicated his landing intentions. The airplane prematurely descended. On the traffic pattern's base leg, about 0.5 miles from the approach end of the runway, the airplane collided with trees and terrain. The distance between the initial point of impact and the main wreckage was 222 feet. The airframe and engine were subsequently examined. No malfunctions were noted. Remains of a recently purchased vodka bottle were found in the wreckage. The toxicological examination revealed the presence of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Ethanol was detected in the pilot's blood, vitreous fluid, and urine. The blood level was reported at 0.246 percent, over 6 times the FAA limit.
Probable Cause: The pilot's premature descent into terrain during a dark nighttime approach. Also causal was his physiological impairment due to alcohol. A contributing factor was his psychological condition.



Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:22 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 09:59 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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