December 19, 2004, La Mirada, Calif. / Cessna 182P


At about 0948 Pacific time, the airplane collided with a 760-foot-tall radio transmission tower while in the traffic pattern at the Fullerton (Calif.) Municipal Airport. The Private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed. Subsequently, a witness stated he observed the airplane flying low, in a westerly direction. He noted that the airplane was in a wings-level attitude and that the propeller appeared to be turning. The airplane continued towards two parallel towers, both of which had numerous guy wires attached. He observed the inboard section of the airplanes left wing collide with the taller tower, impacting about 10 feet below the pinnacle. After the initial impact, a fire erupted and both wings, followed by the tail, floated toward the ground. The accident site was located in an industrial parking lot about 1.6 nm from the geographical center of Fullerton Municipal Airport on a bearing of 280 true. The Airport/Facility Directory, Southwest U.S., indicates there is a lighted tower measuring 819 feet msl two miles west-northwest of the airport. The Los Angeles VFR Terminal Area Chart, dated December 23, 2004 (50th edition), discloses the transmission tower height extends 820 feet msl and 760 agl.


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