Monday, November 20, 2017

Cessna 152, N24987: Fatal accident occurred November 19, 2017 near Tehachapi Municipal Airport (KTSP), Kern County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Shouling & Philip Enterprise:

Location: Tehachapi, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA035
Date & Time: 11/19/2017, 1756 PST
Registration:  N24987
Aircraft: CESSNA 152
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On November 19, 2017, about 1756 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 152, N24987, was destroyed when it impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Tehachapi Municipal Airport (TSP), Tehachapi, California. The private pilot received fatal injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The pilot had rented the airplane from Barnes Aviation, which was located at General William J. Fox Airfield (WJF), Lancaster. California. According to a certified flight instructor (CFI) who was employed by Barnes, the pilot had reserved the airplane for a few hours in the afternoon of November 19. About 1522, the CFI was asked by another Barnes employee to pull the airplane out of a hangar for the pilot, which he completed about 1530. That was the first time that the CFI had met the pilot. The two introduced themselves, and, in response to the CFI's query, the pilot told the CFI that he planned to fly "to Rosamond then maybe up north for a little while." About 1535, the pilot started his preflight inspection. About 1545, the pilot started the engine of N24987, and the CFI saw him take off from WJF runway 6 about 1555.

Airport surveillance imagery from three collocated cameras at TSP captured the airplane taxi into and stop in the transient parking area about 1628. The pilot secured the airplane and walked to a nearby restaurant to obtain some food. He returned to the airplane about 1738. By that time it was dark; local sunset occurred at 1646. The pilot started the engine about 1749, and taxied from the parking spot about a minute later. A set of lights presumed to be the airplane was observed to depart from TSP runway 29 about 1755. The airplane executed two sequential right turns consistent with right crosswind and downwind leg turns for runway 29. Two of the cameras then captured a descent, but the night image quality, in combination with the airplane distance from the cameras, precluded any determination of airplane attitude.

Multiple witnesses saw or heard the descent and/or impact, and telephoned 911 to report the accident. A ground search, aided by law enforcement helicopter searchlight illumination, located the wreckage in a ranch pasture just north of TSP. The initial impact point was located about 350 feet west-northwest of, and offset about 2050 feet north-northwest of, the runway 11 threshold. The main wreckage came to rest about 250 feet, on a bearing of 138° true, from the initial impact point. The main wreckage consisted of the engine, wings, empennage, and most of the fuselage. Several items, including the propeller, some engine accessories, and some fuselage fragments, formed a debris field between the initial impact point and the main wreckage. Several high-density items such as the battery and the alternator core came to rest several hundred feet beyond the main wreckage. There was no fire. The wreckage was recovered to a secure storage facility for subsequent detailed examination.

According to a representative of Barnes Aviation, the airplane had been topped off with fuel, and then flown for about 1.4 hours prior to its pickup by the accident pilot. The accident pilot did not fuel the airplane before his departure from WJF, or after his arrival at TSP. The investigation has not yet determined where the pilot flew, or whether he landed at any other airports prior to his arrival at TSP. A handheld GPS was recovered on scene, and was sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for possible data download.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. At the time of the accident, the pilot had logged a total flight experience of about 152 hours, including about 12 hours of night time. He had previously flown solo from WJF to TSP and back at night, in the accident airplane, on October 8, 2017. His most recent flight review was completed in August 2017, and his most recent third-class Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certificate was issued in April 2016.

FAA information indicates that the airplane was manufactured in 1977, and that it was registered to the current owner in November 2011. The airplane was equipped with a Lycoming O-235 series engine. Maintenance records indicated that the airplane had accumulated a total time (TT) in service of about 11,168 hours, and that the engine had accumulated a time since major overhaul (SMOH) of about 2,795 hours. The most recent annual inspection was completed in April 2017, and the most recent 100 hour inspection was completed in September 2017.

TSP is located just north of the city of Tehachapi; both are situated in an elevated wide valley surrounded by highlands. The area surrounding TSP and the city is primarily ranchland, with very sparse illumination. TSP is equipped with a single paved runway, designated 11/29. The runway is 4,040 feet long, and airport elevation is 4,001 feet. TSP is not equipped with an air traffic control tower. Runway 29 is designated as having a left-hand traffic pattern.

The 1755 TSP automated weather observation included winds from 320 degrees at 3 knots, visibility 10 miles, clear skies, temperature 7 degrees C, dew point 0 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury. The moon was a waxing crescent, with 2% of its disc illuminated. Local moonset occurred at 1802.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N24987
Model/Series: 152 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:  No  
Operator: Barnes Aviation
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Night/Dark
Observation Facility, Elevation: TSP, 4001 ft msl
Observation Time: 1755 PST
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 320°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting:  30.13 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point:  Tehachapi, CA (TSP)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  35.142778, -118.441111

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Kelvin Arayon Javier
Cerritos, California
November 13, 1968 - November 19, 2017 (Age 49)

The pilot who died in Sunday's airplane crash in Tehachapi was identified Tuesday as a 49-year-old Cerritos man.

Kelvin Arayon Javier died just before 6 p.m. at the crash site half a mile north of Highway 58 and half a mile east of Discovery Way, according to the Kern County coroner's office.

The National Transportation Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

The man who died Sunday night when the Cessna 152 he was piloting crashed in the Capital Hills area of Tehachapi had rented the plane in Lancaster, a National Transportation Safety Board investigator said Monday.

The pilot, whose name has not yet been released, rented the plane at William J. Fox airfield, said Mike Huhn, an air safety investigator.

The pilot took off from Tehachapi Municipal Airport before crashing at about 6:02 p.m. north of Mill Street and Highway 58, Huhn said.

“The information indicates the person is not a Tehachapi resident and right now we are just gathering the facts,” Huhn said. He added, “With the information we have the airplane just departed from the Tehachapi Municipal Airport and the eyewitnesses reported that it made some sort of turn and the airplane impacted the ground. We don’t know what happened yet.”

Huhn said the first call of the crash came into the Tehachapi Police Department at 6:02 p.m. Sunday. That sent emergency personnel to the scene, where Kern County Fire Department's Helicopter 407 found the wreckage.

The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane.

It may take up to a year for the NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the crash.

One person was killed Sunday night when an aircraft went down in the Capital Hills area of Tehachapi, the Kern County Fire Department confirmed.

At about 6 p.m., the fire department was informed of reports of an aircraft down north of Mill Street and Highway 58, Engineer Anthony Romero said.

Helicopter 407 out of Keene was called to the scene, and found the aircraft. Romero described it as a Cessna 152.

"A Cessna 152 crashed under unknown circumstances near Challenger Drive and Vienna Street Sunday evening," Federal Aviation Administration public affairs manager Ian Gregor wrote in an email to TBC Media.

The pilot was the only person on board, Gregor wrote.

About 20 Kern County firefighters were at the scene, and at one point Kern County Sheriff's Search and Rescue was called upon.

It was not yet known where the Cessna originated, where it was headed and what led to the aircraft going down.

The coroner's office was called to the scene.

Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Gregor reported.

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Levi said...

This was by bother in that plane. God rest his soul.

Anonymous said...

I had the personal pleasure of flying this particular 152 on occasion over the past twenty years with flight lessons and eventually student solo and private pilot endorsement. She was a good plane, and will be missed. God bless Mr. Javier.