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Date:Thursday 12 January 1995
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster
Operating for:West Air
Leased from:Federal Express
Registration: N754FE
MSN: 208B0249
First flight: 1991
Total airframe hrs:2073
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Pleasanton, CA (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 457 m (1499 feet) amsl
Phase: Approach (APR)
Departure airport:Visalia Airport, CA (VIS/KVIS), United States of America
Destination airport:Oakland International Airport, CA (OAK/KOAK), United States of America
The pilot reported to ATC he had the airport in sight from 7,000 feet msl more than 30 miles (48 km) away. A weather reporting station located 5 miles (8 km) east of the accident site was reporting two cloud layers; a scattered layer at 1,500 feet agl, and a broken layer at 5,000 feet agl. The airplane was descending after the pilot was cleared for a visual approach. The airplane collided with a tree and the ground in a wings level attitude at an elevation of 1,500 feet msl.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "Failure of the pilot-in-command to maintain visual contact with terrain and sufficient altitude for terrain clearance. Factors in the accident were the pilot's decision to initiate a descent 14 miles from the airport, and weather, specifically cloud conditions and darkness."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 11 months
Accident number: LAX95FA077
Download report: Summary report
Language: English

Misjudgement of speed or altitiude
Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) - Mountain

» NTSB id LAX95FA077


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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 Visalia Airport, CA to Oakland International Airport, CA as the crow flies is 294 km (183 miles).
Accident location: Approximate; accuracy within a few kilometers.

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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