NTSB Identification: LAX04LA239
On June 12, 2004, approximately 1200 Pacific daylight time, a Champion 7AC, N81471, impacted trees and mountainous terrain while maneuvering near La Porte, California. The student pilot, sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was substantially damaged. The pilot and a partner owned the airplane. The pilot was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The airplane departed from Redding, California, and was destined for Susanville, California.
Local law enforcement personnel received an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal around noon on the day of the accident. The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) initiated search efforts, and on the morning of the June 13th, they located the accident site at 39 degrees 47.481 minutes north latitude and 120 degrees 48.213 west longitude.
According to the local law enforcement personnel, the right wing tip impacted a tree and separated from the rest of the airplane, which came to rest 80 feet from the right wing tip. They reported finding a camera mounted on the left wing strut. According to the pilot's spouse, the pilot was going to fly over their mine and document it with photographs.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge spoke with the pilot's instructor and learned that the cross-country flight was not endorsed by the instructor.
At 1148, the weather observation at the Chico Airport (located 43 miles west of the accident site) reported the wind as calm; visibility 40 statute miles; and a few clouds at 20,000 feet. The altimeter setting was 29.96 inches.