NTSB Identification: DEN00FA086.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 30, 2000 in ESTES PARK, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Smith, Ted Aerostar AEROSTAR 601, registration: N7421S
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.

While on a cross-country flight, according to radar data and weather information, the pilot descended below terrain clearance altitude and entered IMC conditions. The aircraft impacted a mountain peak approximately 100 feet below the summit. No flight plan had been filed and the pilot was not instrument rated.

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

A descent below the surrounding terrain, by the pilot, in IMC conditions. Factors were high mountainous terrain, clouds, inaccurate weather evaluation by the pilot, and the pilot's flight into IMC conditions.

Full narrative available

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