NTSB Identification: FTW96LA090.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 12, 1996 in COLLBRAN, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N2132J
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 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.

The airplane crossed a mountain ridge, flew into a canyon, and encountered 'a very fast rate of descent.' According to the pilot, the airplane descended below tree tops near a frozen lake. The pilot believed the airplane would not clear the trees ahead and elected to land on the lake. The airplane slid across the surface of the lake and up the opposite embankment, shearing off the right main landing gear.

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

The pilot's intentional flight at low altitude, which resulted in inadequate terrain clearance to compensate for a downdraft. The downdraft was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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