NTSB Identification: DEN91FA132.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45178.
Accident occurred Sunday, September 15, 1991 in TERERRO, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N4868F
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 NEWLY CERTIFICATED PRIVATE PILOT WAS SCHEDULED FOR AN EXTENDED CROSS-COUNTRY FLIGHT TO GAIN EXPERIENCE. A NEWLY CERTIFICATED PRIVATE PILOT FRIEND ACCOMPANIED HIM. THEY WERE SCHEDULED IN A TYPE AIRCRAFT THEY HAD NOT PREVIOUSLY FLOWN, EXCEPT FOR A LOCAL CHECK OUT. THE FLIGHT WAS PLANNED AND APPROVED INTO AN AREA OF MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AND NEITHER PILOT HAD MOUNTAIN TRAINING OR EXPERIENCE. WHILE MANEUVERING AT AN ALTITUDE 700 FEET BELOW THE SERVICE CEILING OF THE AIRCRAFT, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK A TREE AND THEN IMPACTED INTO TERRAIN.

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

A FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE OBSTACLE CLEARANCE IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS WERE: LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH THE AIRCRAFT, AND INSUFFICIENT STANDARDS BY THE OPERATOR.

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