Washington, D.C — A new report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reveals that pilot error was the cause of an airplane accident in Groveland last year.
The pilot, 70-year-old bay area resident Albert Halluin and passenger Judy Perchonock died in the February 2010 crash.
The NTSB report says Halluin departed from the San Carlos Airport without obtaining a weather briefing or filing an instrument flight plan. As he approached Pine Mountain Lake Airport, he reported to air traffic control that the airport was not in sight and that he would turn around if it was covered in a fog layer. The radar data indicated that the airplane continued to overfly the runway and begin a series of rapid altitude changes.
Multiple witnesses reported hearing an airplane flying with high engine speeds in the area of the airport right before the collision on the ground.
The NTSB report said the pilot had flown only two instrument based approaches in the preceding 6 months before the crash and was not current to fly an instrument approach. He also had limited experience landing at Pine Mountain Lake Airport at night and had never performed an instrument approach into the airport in actual instrument meteorological conditions.
The NTSB concluded that Halluin became disoriented and was unprepared to land in foggy conditions at the Pine Mountain Lake Airport. Examination of the remaining wreckage revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunction of the engine.