Accident Cessna TP337G Pressurized Skymaster N4CU, Saturday 1 August 2015
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Date:Saturday 1 August 2015
Type:Silhouette image of generic P337 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna TP337G Pressurized Skymaster
Registration: N4CU
MSN: P3370065
Year of manufacture:1972
Total airframe hrs:2246 hours
Engine model:Continental TSIO-360C(5B)
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:SE of Santa Paula Airport (KSZP), Santa Paula, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Santa Paula, CA (KSZP)
Destination airport:California City, CA (KL71)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The noninstrument-rated commercial pilot departed for the cross-country flight over mountainous terrain in instrument meteorological conditions. A witness observed the airplane take off from runway 22, disappear into an overcast layer at 300 ft above ground level (about 550 ft mean sea level [msl]), and then reappear heading in the opposite direction. The witness reported that the airplane departed the traffic pattern heading northeast. The wreckage was located in mountainous terrain at an elevation of 1,223 ft msl, 2.8 mi east of the departure airport. Meteorological data indicated that, at the time of the accident, a cloud layer extended over the accident site from about 550 ft msl to about 2,100 ft msl, and, at the elevation of the accident site, the terrain would have been obscured by clouds. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engine. The orientation of the wreckage indicated that, at impact, the airplane was heading south and traveling at a ground speed consistent with normal traffic pattern speeds. The damage to the airplane was consistent with controlled flight into the terrain, and the airplane's impact heading was consistent with the pilot attempting to return to the airport when the airplane collided with the rising terrain.
Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilot's decision to conduct a visual flight in instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in controlled flight into mountainous terrain.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR15FA227
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

02-Aug-2015 02:29 Geno Added
11-Aug-2015 18:15 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, ]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency, ]
01-Dec-2017 15:09 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, ]

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