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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34677
Last updated: 21 January 2020
This record is based on the official accident investigation report. It has been locked for editing.

Type:Silhouette image of generic RV6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Van's RV-6
Registration: N986DB
C/n / msn: 60150
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Taft, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Tracy, CA (TCY)
Destination airport:Van Nuys, CA (VNY)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Without notifying air traffic control during a flight conducted under instrument flight rules, the pilot descended from 11,000 feet until impacting 900-foot msl terrain in a nose low attitude and with a relatively high rate of speed. At the time, visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the sky was clear. Earlier, the pilot had departed California's central valley on a business flight with an intended southern California destination. En route communications were normal and the pilot was responsive to the radar controller's instructions to climb from 10,000 to 11,000 feet. About 1.5 minutes after receiving an updated altimeter setting, the airplane began descending. The pilot did not report vacating 11,000 feet, nor did he communicate the existence of any emergency. Minutes later, the airplane, which had just passed abeam the Tracy airport (closest airport to the airplane's location) reversed direction and turned toward Tracy. During the last 2 minutes of recorded flight, the airplane's descent rate averaged 1,550 feet per minute. Ground scar signatures were indicative of the airplane impacting terrain in a wings level attitude, and thereafter sustaining structural fragmentation. The impact occurred on level terrain about 1.3 miles short of the airport. The engine and propeller were found in a 3-foot-deep impact crater. Components were found as far as 317 feet from the crater. There was no evidence of fire. The pilot maintained his airplane on an annual inspection basis, and he had flown it since manufacture in 1998 for a total of 220 hours. He had made 64 flights in the airplane during the preceding 12 months. The pilot was reportedly in good health. The radar track plot provided evidence that the pilot successfully negotiated a course reversal turn and was initially able to head toward the nearest airport. The pilot was, however, unable to arrest the 1,550 foot-per-minute rate of descent. No evidence was found in the fragmented wreckage regarding the reason for the steep descent to ground impact.
Probable Cause: The in-flight collision with the ground for undetermined reasons.



Revision history:

24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
04-Jul-2016 04:15 junior sjc Updated [Operator]
29-Jan-2017 19:46 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
12-Dec-2017 18:29 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Source, Narrative]