NTSB Identification: DEN99FA016.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 28, 1998 in HAYDEN, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/20/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N35533
Injuries: 1 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 Part 135 cargo flight was approaching its destination on an IFR flight plan. The pilot had requested the ILS-DME approach to runway 10, but 2 minutes later, he changed his request to the VOR-B approach to runway 28. ARTCC cleared him for the approach to the non-towered airport. The pilot contacted the airport's Unicom, and requested that the ramp personnel be standing by with fuel and oxygen. The airplane was found 5.8 nm from the approach end of runway 28, at 7,900 feet. The approach minimums for the VOR-B was 7,900 feet, which the pilot could descend to at 8.7 nm. The VOR was located 285 degrees at 13.6 nm from the accident site, and the ILS-DME transmitter was located 285 degrees at 5.6 nm from the accident site. The airplane was equipped with a single DME display head, and it had a Nav 1/Nav 2 selector switch.

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

The pilot not following instrument procedures and subsequently descended to minimums prematurely. Factors were the mountainous terrain and the falling snow.

Full narrative available

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