Plane Mushed In While Turning Base; Six People Lost
The National Transportation Safety Board ruled this week the
August 2007 downing of a 2005 Lancair Columbia 400 as it attempted
to land at Kern Valley Airport in Kernville, CA was due to pilot
error... and confirmed the plane was over its maximum gross weight
As ANN reported, the aircraft stalled as it
maneuvered in the pattern to land on Kern Valley's 3,500-foot
runway on August 31, 2007. The plane's pilot, Adam Pasori, aborted
his first landing attempt; witnesses said the plane nosed in as it
turned base for a second attempt to land on runway 35, sparking a
fire on impact.
Killed in the crash were Pasori, his wife, and his brother and
sister. Pasori's two-year old niece and two-month nephew were also
lost in the accident, according to The Bakersfield Californian.
That's two persons over the seating capacity of a Columbia 400.
"It was estimated that at the time of departure from SMO the
airplane was 65 pounds over its maximum takeoff weight, and 83
pounds over its maximum landing weight at the time of the
accident," the NTSB writes, adding "the airplane's center of
gravity was within the fore and aft limits for the duration of the
Investigators found no anomalies with the airframe, and noted
the plane's speed brakes were retracted. "The pilot's failure to
maintain aircraft control while maneuvering in the traffic pattern
for landing," the Board concluded. "Contributing to the accident
was the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed."
Pasori held a private pilot certificate with single-engine land
and instrument airplane ratings, and was flying on a second-class
medical certificate issued in January 2006. According to Pasori's
logbook, he had total time of 789 hours, with 214 hours in
The family was flying to Kern Valley for a camping vacation to
celebrate the end of summer, according to the newspaper.