NTSB Identification: DEN01FA013.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 12, 2000 in HANKSVILLE, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 175, registration: N7360M
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Serious.

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.

Several friends volunteered to help the pilot locate stray cattle. According to a surviving passenger, the pilot flew the airplane toward some cowboys on horseback waiting on a bluff with the intention of dropping a message containing directions to some strays. As the airplane approached the bluff approximately 100 feet above the terrain, it suddenly sank 'like we hit a downdraft,' and the pilot banked hard to the right to avoid the bluff. The airplane encountered another downdraft, dropped 30 to 40 feet, and struck a rocky slope. The airplane had not received an annual inspection since May 1, 1995, the ELT batteries expired on March 31, 1995, and the pilot's last medical certificate was issued February 27, 1995. According to the toxicology reports, the pilot tested positive for alcohol, barbiturates, and quinine.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane while maneuvering at low altitude, and his physical impairment due to alcohol and drugs. A contributing factor was the downdraft.

Full narrative available

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