NTSB Identification: FTW95LA276.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 30, 1995 in GARFIELD, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1995
Aircraft: CESSNA 150F, registration: N8155S
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

AS THE PILOT APPROACHED MONARCH PASS (ELEVATION 11,312 FEET MSL), HE DETERMINED THAT CLOUD COVERAGE AHEAD WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM TO CONTINUE UNDER VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS. AS HE TURNED THE AIRPLANE AROUND, IT BEGAN TO LOSE ALTITUDE. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO ARREST THE DESCENT RATE, AND HE MADE A 'HARD LANDING' ON THE HIGHWAY. ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER, THE SERVICE CEILING OF THE CESSNA 150F IS 12,650 FEET MSL. DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS 11,777 FEET AT THE PASS. THE PILOT LATER SAID HE WOULD 'NEVER FLY IN HIGH TERRAIN AGAIN, AT LEAST NOT WITHOUT GETTING SOME GOOD INSTRUCTION IN MOUNTAIN FLYING.'

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

THE PILOT'S DELAYED DECISION TO DEVIATE AWAY FROM THE DETERIORATING WEATHER. FACTORS WERE HIS INADEQUATE EVALUATION OF THE WEATHER, HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE, AND THE RESULTANT INADVERTENT OPERATION OF THE AIRPLANE BEYOND THE CLIMB PERFORMANCE LIMITATIONS OF THE AIRPLANE IN MANEUVERING FLIGHT.

Full narrative available

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