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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44015
Last updated: 9 August 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA23 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-23-160 Apache
Owner/operator:Martin Wind Enterprises, Inc.
Registration: N3082P
C/n / msn: 23-1002
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Santa Maria, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Destination airport:Kernville, CA (L05)
The pilot, who did not possess an instrument rating, departed the airport on a downwind departure toward the mountainous terrain that was between the departure and destination airports. The cloud bases were uneven about 1,400 feet, and a witness observed the airplane as it disappeared into the haze. Review of recorded radar data revealed a radar target appeared to match the airplane's departure time and initial departure path. This target performed multiple climbs and descents while turning left and right at altitudes between 2,100 and 3,000 feet. The last target was in a position that was approximately over the accident site at the time that the accident occurred. Investigators found no anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The non-instrument rated pilot's decision to continue flight into instrument meteorological conditions resulting in spatial disorientation and a loss of control.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
05-Dec-2017 09:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Source, Narrative]
29-Oct-2019 18:50 Uli Elch Updated [Aircraft type]

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