NTSB Identification: FTW97FA171.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 26, 1997 in RYE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/09/1999
Aircraft: Piper PA-32RT-300T, registration: N2225A
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.

While on a VFR, no flight plan, cross-country flight, the pilot entered IMC conditions and the aircraft struck the side of a 12,349 foot mountain at the 10,800 foot level. The aircraft was missing for four days and was located by Civil Air Patrol search aircraft. The pilot had received two briefings from flight services in which he was told, visual flight was not recommended.

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

The pilot initiating flight into IMC conditions in mountainous terrain. Factors were mountainous terrain, low ceiling, snow, preflight planning, and in-flight planning and decision making.

Full narrative available

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