NTSB Identification: DEN00GA089.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 15, 2000 in ALAMOGORDO, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/01/2001
Aircraft: Cessna T337C, registration: N2522S
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 public aircraft accident report.
Four minutes after takeoff, the airplane was observed flying straight towards rising terrain (other pilots reported that there had been uplifting air movement there the previous several days). Radar data indicates that the airplane leveled off, and began to slow down. The airplane changed direction and flew over the edge of a 1,000 foot canyon; it then turned north towards rising terrain a second time. A witness said that he couldn't hear any engine sound; he observed the airplane spin towards the ground. He then heard an impact sound, and saw smoke. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted the ground in a vertical attitude. The airplane was found with the rear propeller feathered, and the front propeller with no signatures of power. The rear engine fuel selector was found between main and off, and the front engine fuel selector was found on auxiliary. Normal procedure is to fly for an hour after takeoff on the main tanks. Pilots on later flights in this area reported "strong turbulence and very strong variable vertical air movements." The FAA recommends that a mountain ridgeline should be crossed at an angle to allow the pilot to turn away from the ridge with the least amount of turn required should down air be encountered.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control, and the subsequent inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing factors were the loss of engine power on both engines for unknown reasons and the terrain induced turbulence. Full narrative available
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