NTSB Identification: SEA92FA222
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 16, 1991 in MORAN, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/07/2000
Aircraft: Maule M-5-235C, registration: N19AR
Injuries: 3 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 airplane departed on a grizzly bear tracking flight. The flight involved maneuvering in close proximity to mountainous terrain. Strong, gusty winds and turbulence prevailed at the time of the accident. The winds were from the southwest. The airplane impacted trees and terrain while flying from a westerly direction along a mountain ridge beneath a 10,870-foot tall peak. The wreckage was distributed along a 200-foot path and the impact angle was estimated to be about 35 degrees. A fuel-fed ground fire was evident. No preimpact mechanical malfunctions associated with the engine or airframe were found.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance and altitude from terrain while maneuvering, and his failure to adequately compensate for the wind conditions. Factors contributing to the accident are terrain-induced turbulence, unfavorable winds, gusty high winds, and low altitude flight.

Full narrative available

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