Sept. 12, Klamath, Calif. / Cessna 182


At about 06:45 PDT, a Cessna 182J struck trees while trying to land at McBeth Airport. The pilot suffered minor injuries and the passenger was uninjured. The flight was made VFR but IMC prevailed and no flight plan was made. The pilot said he descended from cruise altitude to 1,500 feet and could not spot the airport, so he decided to fly west toward the coast, climb and proceed to his alternate. The engine began to run rough and he could not remedy the problem or maintain altitude, so he turned toward the airport as directed by his GPS receiver. He was at 500 feet and on top of the fog layer when he saw the runway numbers below him through the fog, so he turned back toward the runway. During the turn he went into the fog and struck trees. The tail lodged in branches and the airplane stopped with the nose about 5 feet from the ground. The two occupants jumped to the ground, but the airplane was consumed by fire.


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