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Last updated: 20 September 2021
Datum:Mittwoch 10 Mai 1989
Flugzeugtyp:Silhouette image of generic BE20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beechcraft 200 Super King Air
Fluggesellschaft:Mesa Airlines
Kennzeichen: N39YV
Werknummer: BB-39
Baujahr: 1975
Triebwerk: 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-41
Besatzung:Todesopfer: 1 / Insassen: 1
Fluggäste:Todesopfer: 0 / Insassen: 0
Gesamt:Todesopfer: 1 / Insassen: 1
Sachschaden: Zerstört
Konsequenzen: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Unfallort:Azusa, CA (   USA)
Flugphase: Während des Fluges (ENR)
Flug von:Santa Monica Airport, CA (SMO/KSMO), USA
Flug nach:Farmington Municipal Airport, NM (FMN/KFMN), USA
Before the flight, the pilots of two Beechcraft 200 aircraft evaluated weather reports at a fixed base operation and made a computer weather inquiry. They departed Santa Monica Airport, CA (SMO), on a positioning flight to Farmington Municipal Airport, NM (FMN), without filing a flight plan. While en route, the lead aircraft was about 1 to 3 minutes ahead of the second aircraft. The second pilot reported they were at about 4500 ft msl as they neared mountains and the clouds were about 1000 ft above. As they continued eastward in a valley, the second pilot heard the lead pilot report he was 'going up.' This was the last known transmission from the lead aircraft. The second pilot continued his flight in VMC. Two days later, the lead aircraft was found, where it had crashed about 100 ft below the top of a 7400 ft mountain ridge. Impact occurred on a heading of about 030 deg. The mountain ridge was oriented on headings of 060 and 240 degrees.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Improper in-flight planning/decision by the pilot, which resulted in has inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and subsequent collision with mountainous terrain. The weather and terrain conditions were considered to be related factors."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 7 months
Accident number: LAX89FA192
Download report: Summary report



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This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Santa Monica Airport, CA to Farmington Municipal Airport, NM as the crow flies is 968 km (605 miles).

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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