NTSB Identification: DEN92FA064.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47352.
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 24, 1992 in ALAMAGORDO, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/08/1993
Aircraft: MITSUBISHI MU-2B-30, registration: N108SC
Injuries: 6 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 FLT HAD DEPARTED THE ALAMAGORDO WHITE SANDS REGIONAL ARPT AFTER A FUEL STOP. THE PILOT HAD EARLIER INDICATED TO ATC THAT HE WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH THE AREA. PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AT 2321 THE PILOT WAS INFORMED THAT DEPARTURE RADAR WAS OUT OF SERVICE. THE FLT DEPARTED WITH A VFR DEPARTURE. AT 2324 THE PILOT WAS ADVISED THAT RADAR WAS BACK IN SERVICE, AND CONFIRMED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS CLIMBING THRU 5,300 FT. DISCUSSION ENSUED BETWEEN THE PILOT AND CONTROLLER CONCERNING TERRAIN CLEARANCE. AT 2324 THE PILOT INDICATED HE WAS TURNING LEFT DUE TO NOT BEING SURE IF A HILL WAS IN HIS PATH. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED A MOUNTAIN AT 6,100 FT MSL, 1,500 FT BELOW THE SUMMIT. THE MINIMUM VECTORING ALTITUDE IN THE AREA WAS 11,000 FT.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO EXERCISE ADEQUATE VFR DEPARTURE TERRAIN AVOIDANCE PROCEDURES, AND THE FAILURE OF THE CONTROLLER TO ISSUE A SAFETY ALERT TO THE PILOT. FACTORS WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE PILOT'S LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA, THE DARK NIGHT, AND THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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