NTSB Identification: DEN99LA104.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 16, 1999 in CANON CITY, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2000
Aircraft: Mooney M20E, registration: N9355M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After takeoff, the pilot flew towards the west and determined that a VFR departure in that area was not possible. He then headed towards the southeast paralleling the east side of the mountains. After turning around, he thought he observed a break in the clouds and attempted a VFR climb. The aircraft then entered the clouds. He continued to climb while in instrument conditions and shortly thereafter, the aircraft impacted upsloping, mountainous terrain at an elevation of 8,500 feet. The wings were sheared off during the impact sequence, the fuselage was crushed and broken into several sections, and the tail was bent 90 degrees to the left. Weather conditions near the accident were reported as overcast ceilings at 3,400 feet agl. A pilot who was performing a GPS approach into the airport near the time of the accident reported the ceilings to be 600 feet overcast at the airport.

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

The pilot's poor judgement due to his intentional and continued flight into instrument meteorological conditions. Factors were the existing weather conditions that included clouds and obscuration.

Full narrative available

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