NTSB Identification: DEN93FA063.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50840.
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 25, 1993 in WESTCLIFFE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/03/1993
Aircraft: MOONEY M20E, registration: N5741Q
Injuries: 2 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 INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT OBTAINED A WEATHER BRIEFING THAT INDICATED VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS PREVAILED AT DURANGO AND DENVER, AND WAS FORECAST ALONG HIS PROPOSED ROUTE OF FLIGHT. THE PILOT FILED AN IFR FLIGHT PLAN AND WAS CLEARED TO MAINTAIN VFR ON TOP. THE FLIGHT DEPARTED DURANGO AT 2045 AND PROCEEDED WITHOUT KNOWN DIFFICULTY UNTIL IT WAS OVER THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS NEAR WESTCLIFFE, COLORADO. RADAR DATA SHOWED THE AIRPLANE IN A LEFT TURN AND DESCENDING OUT OF 16,400 FEET. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED THE FOLLOWING MORNING AT THE 11,900 FOOT LEVEL. A SHERIFF'S DEPUTY REPORTED THAT ALTHOUGH VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS PREVAILED AT WESTCLIFFE, THUNDERSTORMS WERE ACTIVE ALONG THE MOUNTAIN RANGE AT ABOUT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT'S LOSS OF AIRCRAFT CONTROL AS HE ATTEMPTED TO TURN AWAY FROM A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS. FACTORS WERE THUNDERSTORMS AND ASSOCIATED TURBULENCE.

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