NTSB Identification: DEN99LA060.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 26, 1999 in COYOTE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2001
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1, registration: N528SS
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot and his pilot-rated passenger were flying cross-country for the purpose of building flight time. The pilot assumed the role of PIC for the leg from Durango to their intended destination of Santa Fe. During a stop earlier in the day in Las Vegas, the passenger checked the weather using a computer located in the terminal, which called for low clouds and a narrow temperature/dew point spread at the airport in Santa Fe. He did not obtain SIGMETS. While in cruise flight, he and his passenger began to encounter snow, fog and rain. While attempting to climb, he entered instrument meteorological conditions. The aircraft then impacted the trees in a 90 right bank and at a 45 degree downward pitch. The aircraft came to rest in an inverted position along a 45 degree inclining mountainous slope covered by several feet of snow. The aircraft was not IFR equipped.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot-in-command's inadvertent flight into adverse weather, and his continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Factors were his failure to obtain an updated recorded weather briefing, the existing weather conditions which included snow, fog and rain, and the aircraft not being IFR equipped.

Full narrative available

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