NTSB Identification: FTW97FA340.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 07, 1997 in MONTROSE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 182N, registration: N9043G
Injuries: 3 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 accident aircraft departed an airport located at 5,759 feet msl and was climbing under visual conditions into rising terrain topping at 10,000 feet msl. According to a witness, located approximately 200 yards from the accident site, he observed the aircraft flying low over the trees in a southerly direction. The witness said he looked away and when he looked back the aircraft had impacted into trees at 9,705 feet msl 17.3 miles from the airport. Investigation revealed the flaps were deployed between 5 and 10 degrees. According to performance charts, the maximum rate of climb at 10,000 feet msl was calculated to be 325 feet-per-minute, based on the temperature being 40 degrees above standard. The chart is based on flaps up, an indicated airspeed of 85 mph, and proper leaning of the engine. The aircraft weight was calculated as 2,957.9 pounds and the maximum allowed weight, except for takeoff, was 2,950 pounds.

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

Inadequate preflight and in-flight planning, preparation and decision making. A related factor was the improper use of flaps.

Full narrative available

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