FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Sacramento FSDO-25
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA330
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 21, 2016 in Clearlake Oaks, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2016
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N67889
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The flight school reported that the private pilot submitted a night visual flight rules flight plan for authorization by the school, and then intentionally flew a route for which he had not received proper mountain flying endorsements from the flight school. During the night cross country flight, the pilot reported that he did not refuel at any of his stopover airports and became lost over mountainous terrain. The pilot further reported he attempted unsuccessfully to contact air traffic control, but after 4.3 hours of flight the fuel was exhausted and the engine lost power. After the loss of power, he reported that he glided towards a winery and impacted power lines, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and right aileron.
The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's deviation from his original flight plan, which resulted in becoming lost in mountainous terrain at night, fuel exhaustion, loss of engine power, and a collision with power lines during a forced landing.
The crash was first dispatched shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Morine Ranch Road, according to radio and California Highway Patrol reports.
Based on radio reports, the crash involving the Cessna two-seater plane sparked a small wildland fire, with some damage to nearby power lines reported.
Northshore Fire and Cal Fire responded to the crash, along with sheriff's deputies and a California Highway Patrol helicopter, according to scanner reports.
Radio traffic between Lake County Central Dispatch and responding firefighters indicated that the pilot was able to get out of the plane on his own, called 911 on his cell phone and walked part of the way from the scene where he met first responders.
Northshore Fire Chief Jay Beristianos said firefighters had difficulty accessing the plane and the injured pilot. Fire trucks were getting stuck while trying to get up the narrow vineyard trails leading to the crash site.
Radio reports indicated that a vineyard worker finally helped authorities locate the pilot close to 10:30 p.m. The plane was reported at Morine Ranch Road at Red Rock Road under power lines.
The pilot was transported by a sheriff's deputy down to medic units, which took him to a landing zone at Orchard Shores. There, a REACH air ambulance picked up the pilot and lifted off for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital at around 11 p.m., according to radio reports.
Fire units at the scene had reported that the vegetation that burned as a result of the crash measured about 15 feet by 15 feet, and had been knocked down quickly after firefighters arrived at about 10:30 p.m. At that point they estimated they would be on scene for a few hours mopping up.
Pacific Gas and Electric also was asked to respond to the scene to assess damage to power lines, according to fire traffic.
Beristianos, who remained on scene after the majority of other units cleared, said Cal Fire cut a line around the fire area. He said some power lines also were down.
Based on what firefighters had encountered at the scene, Beristianos said it appeared that the pilot made a hard landing in the brush.
He called the man “very lucky.”
Beristianos – who would clear the scene just after midnight – said the incident was being overseen by the Lake County Sheriff's Office, with deputies to wait on scene for Federal Aviation Administration investigators to arrive.
Original article can be found here: http://www.lakeconews.com