NTSB Identification: DEN00FA135.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 10, 1999 in LAKE CITY, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2001
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30, registration: N6691V
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 pilot and his wife were flying from Lagrangeville, New York, to Las Vegas, Nevada, with no winter clothing or survival equipment. The airplane departed Colorado Springs, Colorado, with full fuel tanks, and was last located by an unconfirmed radar report approximately 2 hours later near Creede, Colorado. An extensive search for the airplane started on November 20, 1999, and was unsuccessful. Hikers located the airplane on July 20, 2000, at 12,724 feet. Examination of the accident site indicated the pilot had made a precautionary landing on a mountain ridge. No sectional navigation maps were located in the airplane nor was any flight planning documentation located (the pilot had not filed a flight plan). The airplane was found with the landing gear extended and separated from the airplane. The ELT battery was out of date and the ELT was damaged; a hand held transceiver was located under the pilot's seat; and the airplane's radios were found in the on position. Satellite imagery and meteorological reports indicate that clouds would have obscured the mountain ridges in the accident area. The pilot's son reported that the pilot was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and was taking insulin. The pilot and his wife were found with 'multiple portions of additional items of clothing on,' suggesting both survived the impact.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadequate flight planning and preparation, and his inadvertent flight into adverse weather during a cross-country flight over mountainous terrain. Contributing factors were, the cloudy obscuration weather condition, the high density altitude, and the lack of suitable terrain for a precautionary landing. Full narrative available
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