September 11, 2007, Joshua Tree, Calif., Grumman American AA-5


The airplane collided with elevated terrain at 2228 Pacific time; its private-rated pilot and sole occupant sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot reportedly made the cross-country flight on a regular basis, requiring about 30 minutes.

According to data extracted from a portable GPS navigator, the airplane arrived near its destination airport and made multiple meandering passes over the city for 50 minutes. Shortly thereafter, the airplane turned and began a gradual descent. The wreckage was located 3.4 miles east of the destination airport; all major components were present. The left fuel tank had been breached along its entire leading edge. The right fuel tank contained five gallons of fuel.

Between 2100-0300 on the night of the accident a utilities outage resulted in the destination airport being without power.


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