NTSB Identification: DEN00FA119.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 25, 2000 in ANGEL FIRE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172H, registration: N2526L
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Minor.
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 took off and made two complete climbing circuits of the airport before proceeding south towards rising terrain. A lineman said he 'could tell they were having trouble gaining altitude,' and watched as the airplane disappeared behind trees south of town near a golf course. A witness said the airplane came over his house at low altitude, clipped trees, spun around, hit the roadway, and caught fire. The accident site was 4.2 miles south of the airport. The difference between the accident site elevation and the airport elevation is 353 feet. Density altitude was calculated at 11,197 feet msl. The airplane weighed an estimated 1,987 pounds.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper inflight decision to prematurely attempt a climb towards rising terrain before sufficient altitude had been attained that would assure adequate obstacle clearance. Factors were high density altitude and trees. Full narrative available
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