NTSB Identification: FTW96FA012.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 10, 1995 in BAYFIELD, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 172RG, registration: N4834V
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 TWO PASSENGERS HAD CHARTERED THE AIRPLANE AND PILOT TO GO LOOK FOR ELK IN THE MOUNTAINS. THE PILOT OF ANOTHER AIRPLANE, ALSO SEARCHING FOR ELK, SPOTTED THE BURNING WRECKAGE IN THE CARBONATE BASIN, ABOUT 1/2 MILE SOUTH OF MILLER MOUNTAIN, AT THE 11,130-FT LEVEL. HE REPORTED ENCOUNTERING SMOOTH FLYING CONDITIONS AT THE TIME. THE TOP 5 FEET OF A PINE TREE WAS FOUND SEVERED AND ITS BRANCHES WERE FOUND AT THE BASE OF THE TREE ALONG WITH PIECES OF PLEXIGLASS AND THE AIRPLANE'S PITOT TUBE. ANOTHER TREE, 63 FEET AWAY, HAD ITS TOP BENT OVER, THE AIRPLANE WAS LOCATED 135 FEET AWAY ON THE SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. THE LEADING EDGES OF BOTH WINGS BORE ACCORDION-TYPE COMPRESSION DAMAGE. THE CALCULATED RATE OF CLIMB CAPABILITY, AT THE COMPUTED DENSITY ALTITUDE OF 10,720 FEET, WAS 340 FEET PER MINUTE.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE TERRAIN CLEARANCE. A FACTOR WAS THE PILOT DIVERTING ATTENTION WHILE LOOKING FOR GAME.

Full narrative available

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