NTSB Identification: DEN91FA056.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43918.
Accident occurred Friday, March 29, 1991 in CORTEZ, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/05/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 421C, registration: N3851C
Injuries: 5 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 FLIGHT DEPARTED WITHOUT A FLIGHT PLAN OR WEATHER BRIEF. EN ROUTE DETERIORATING WEATHER WAS ENCOUNTERED AND AN IFR FLIGHT PLAN WAS FILED TO A REVISED DESTINATION. CLEARANCE WAS RECEIVED FOR A VOR APPROACH AND THE PILOT WAS ADVISED OF 1/2 MILE VISIBILITY IN SNOW AND FOG. A MISSED APPROACH WAS REPORTED OVER THE UNICOM FREQUENCY. IMPACT OCCURRED WITH A HEADING OF ABOUT 170 DEGREES AT 7,700 FEET MSL IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN ON THE 173 DEGREE RADIAL, 7.3 MILES FROM THE VOR. THE INBOUND COURSE TO THE FINAL APPROACH FIX WAS 170 DEGREES WITH AN INBOUND FINAL APPROACH COURSE OF 196 DEGREES. AIRPORT ELEVATION WAS 5,914 FEET MSL. THE AIRPORT WAS LOCATED ON THE 196 DEGREE RADIAL, 5.5 MILES FROM THE VOR FINAL APPROACH FIX. THE VOR APPROACH TO RUNWAY 21 CALLED FOR A MISSED APPROACH TO BE EXECUTED AT 5.5 DME FROM THE VOR AND A MINIMUM DESCENT ALTITUDE OF 6,600 FEET.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER IFR PROCEDURES. FACTORS WERE: THE EXISTING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN A PREFLIGHT BRIEFING.

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