ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 45977
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Narrative:The airplane impacted the water descending at a high rate of speed. On a dark moonless night, the noninstrument rated private pilot rented an airplane and flew below a marine layer of clouds along the coastal shoreline. The pilot initiated a course reversal turn, during which the airplane turned away from the city lights. During the turn, seconds after the airplane was headed nearly perpendicular to the shoreline, the pilot commenced a descending right turn with a vertical descent rate of over 2,100 feet per minute. A witness about 1 mile away reported that the airplane looked as though it was falling straight down into the water. The pilot had taken his primary flight lessons from a Texas-based school, and he was, by his own admission, not familiar with flying around marine cloud layers. No evidence of mechanical malfunction or failures was noted during the wreckage examination.
|Date:||Wednesday 28 March 2001|
|Year of manufacture:||1978|
|Total airframe hrs:||8751 hours|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 3|
|Aircraft damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Santa Monica, CA -
United States of America
|Phase:|| En route|
|Departure airport:||Santa Monica, CA (SMO)|
|Destination airport:||Santa Monica, CA (SMO)|
|Investigating agency: ||NTSB|
|Confidence Rating:|| Accident investigation report completed and information captured|
Probable Cause: the pilot's loss of airplane control while maneuvering due to spatial disorientation. Contributing factors were the dark night, the marine cloud layer that restricted the pilot's cruising altitude, and the pilot's lack of familiarity with nighttime flight over the ocean.
||ASN Update Bot
||Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]|
||ASN Update Bot
||Updated [Source, Narrative]|
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