NTSB Identification: DEN00LA170.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 15, 2000 in SHERIDAN, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N6130H
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot filed an IFR flight plan, and was flying direct from Pierre, South Dakota, to Red Lodge, Montana. North of Newcastle, Wyoming, he cancelled his IFR flight plan and received VFR flight following as he started toward the Big Horn Mountains. He turned up a valley and soon realized the terrain was rising faster than the airplane could climb. Terrain proximity precluded him from turning around, so he elected to land in a meadow. Although the pilot escaped injury, his passenger sustained a compression fracture of a lumbar vertebra, and the airplane was substantially damaged when both wings and fuselage buckled.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper inflight decision to enter a canyon at an altitude insufficient to clear rising terrain. A factor was the aircraft's climb performance being exceeded due to the rising terrain. Full narrative available
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