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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45686
Last updated: 7 December 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA24 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-24-250
Registration: N6946P
C/n / msn: 24-2081
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:El Dorado, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:N. Las Vegas, NV (VGT)
Destination airport:El Dorado, CA (O61)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane collided with the ground in a steep nose down attitude at high speed. There were no known witnesses to the accident. No flight plan had been filed for the personal flight and no records were found of an FAA preflight weather briefing or en route communications with any FAA facility. The accident site is about 8 miles east of the flight's intended destination airport. Examination of available weather data disclosed that an unusually strong late fall weather system was affecting the general accident site area. Overcast clouds were banked over the Sierra Nevada foothills and consisted of a southwest-northeast oriented cloud band with scattered light rain showers present in the accident area. Cloud bases were probably 1,000 to 2,000 feet above ground level, and cloud tops were probably around 16,000 feet msl. Winds and temperatures at the accident airplane's estimated flight envelope of 3,000 to 4,500 feet msl were southwesterly at 30 knots and 34 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The freezing level in the accident area was about 5,000 feet msl with the possibility of moderate to severe mixed icing conditions above that altitude. The presence of a light rain shower near the accident site and an upslope flow condition indicated that super cooled large water droplets were likely present in the area. Occasional moderate turbulence was likely in the area with severe turbulence possible near convective activity. A deputy sheriff patrolling near the accident site reported that at the time of the accident there was heavy rain and wind. Local accident area residents reported that they were experiencing strong winds and heavy rain with lightning and thunder at the time of the accident. Examination of the wreckage disclosed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure.

Probable Cause: the pilot's intentional flight into adverse weather conditions and his subsequent failure to maintain aircraft 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]
10-Dec-2017 13:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Source, Narrative]

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