NTSB Identification: DEN91FA039.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44370.
Accident occurred Thursday, February 07, 1991 in SNOWMASS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/13/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-400, registration: N8510P
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 TWO AIRPLINE PILOTS TOLD FRIENDS THEY WERE GOING SIGHTSEEING. WHEN THEY FAILED TO RETURN AS PLANNED, A SEARCH WAS BEGUN. THE WRECKAGE WAS FOUND 3 DAYS LATER. THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN FLYING UP THE WEST SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN PASS WHEN IT STRUCK A TREE AND IMPACTED DEEP SNOW AT ABOUT THE 11,200 FOOT LEVEL. AUTOPSIES INDICATED BOTH PILOTS SURVIVED THE IMPACT. ONE OF THE PILOTS ATTEMPTED TO SEEK HELP. HIS BODY WAS FOUND ONE MILE FROM THE WRECKAGE. THE AIRCRAFT WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH FIRST AID OR SURVIVAL GEAR. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF PREIMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURE/MALFUNCTION.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN A PROPER ALTITUDE IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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