NTSB Identification: FTW95FA238.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, June 12, 1995 in CLOUDCROFT, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/1996
Aircraft: SMITH LONG-EZ, registration: N86PD
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE LINEMAN AT ALAMOGORDO AIRPORT REPORTED ADDING 28 GALLONS OF 100LL AVGAS TO THE FUEL TANKS. THE AIRCRAFT TOOK OFF WITH TWO MEN (APPROXIMATELY 195 POUNDS EACH PLUS PERSONAL ITEMS). THE AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED FLYING LOW OVER HIGH ROLLS, NEW MEXICO AND EAST TOWARDS PINEY WOODS, NEW MEXICO. WITNESSES IN PINEY WOODS REPORTED TO THE STATE POLICE THAT 'THE AIRCRAFT WAS CIRCLING SO LOW THAT THEY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO LAND.' THE AIRPLANE WAS NEXT OBSERVED AT THE TOP OF THE VALLEY IN THE MOUNTAIN PASS VILLAGE OF CLOUDCROFT, NEW MEXICO, WHERE A WITNESS REPORTED THAT IT OVERFLEW THE VILLAGE 'AT A VERY LOW ALTITUDE AND MISSED THE TOP OF MY BUILDING BY 30 FEET.' THE AIRPLANE WAS OBSERVED SEVERAL TIMES MAKING ABRUPT STEEP BANK HEADING CHANGES. ONE WITNESS REPORTED THAT 'THE PLANE WAS ON ITS SIDE AND THE WINGS WERE PERPENDICULAR TO THE GROUND.' THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A TALL PINE TREE AND SUBSEQUENTLY IMPACTED THE GROUND. THE ELEVATION AT THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS 8,665 FEET AND THE CALCULATED DENSITY ALTITUDE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WAS 11,900 FEET.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE FROM TREES. FACTORS WERE THE PILOT EXCEEDED THE ALLOWABLE MAXIMUM GROSS WEIGHT OF THE AIRPLANE, THE RISING TERRAIN, AND HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE.

Full narrative available

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