Flying In Mountainous Terrain

May 13, 1998
Gorman, CA
Bellanca 7GCBC

The flight departed Santa Paula, California on a pipeline inspection flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed along portions of the route of flight and no flight plan was filed. Ground witnesses observed the aircraft flying uphill in mountainous terrain below the clouds at an estimated 100 to 200 feet above the ground in a northerly direction. The aircraft impacted an upsloping hill heading in a westerly direction. The wreckage was confined in one area with little or no forward movement. An examination of the engine found the right magneto to be inoperative. (LAX98LA156)