NTSB Identification: LAX01FA036.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 05, 2000 in TEEC NOS POS, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA28-200, registration: N3032R
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.

A Safety Board staff meteorologist performed a weather analysis for the flight. Airmet's for instrument flight rules, mountain obscuration, turbulence, and icing were valid for all portions of the airplane's flight route. The airplane brokeup in flight. The pilot contacted the FAA Prescott Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS) by telephone from Page, Arizona, at 1306, and requested a forecast for Pueblo, Colorado. The forecast was for winds gusting to 30 knots; showers in the vicinity; scattered clouds at 4,000 agl; broken clouds at 7,000 agl; lowering clouds after 1700; and an increase in occasional rain and snow showers. The pilot was issued an Airmet for icing in Colorado mountain obscuration, and from Phoenix to Denver, turbulence from the surface to 39,000 feet. During the briefing the pilot told the briefer that he was "trapped in Page, trying to get back the Denver; when does it look like the system is going to clear out a little, do you have any information on that?" At 1420, the pilot contacted the Prescott AFSS by radio over Kayenta, Arizona, about 60 miles west of the accident site. He requested, and was given, the current weather conditions at Grand Junction and Farmington, New Mexico. He requested three other locations in Colorado; all were marginal for visual flight. At 1425, the pilot told the briefer "we'll be heading the southern route." The pilot did not file a flight plan. On November 6, at 1155, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) provided notification of an emergency crash locator beacon signal. Subsequently the wreckage was located at 1845, in the Carrizo Mountains, at an elevation of about 8,610 feet msl, approximately 51 nautical miles on the 260-degree radial from the Farmington VOR navigational facility. According to accident flight reconstruction information, the airplane departed Broomfield, Colorado, on November 3, and was returning the day of the accident. The pilot had not told the flying club operator of his intended destination, only that he would be back with the plane on the 5th about 1800. The airplane was refueled at North Las Vegas, on November 4, and at Page on November 5. According to fuel service witness information at Page, the airplane made a fuel stop and departed. The fuel invoice was paid at 1338. According to the flying club, it is their written and member signed policy to require all members to file flight plans for flights over 50 nautical miles or more, and all cross-country flight destinations are to be given to the operator. Information recovered from a notepad found in the wreckage documented a flight route from Broomfield (Jeffco), Monarch Pass, Blue Mesa, Dove Creek, Page, and Las Vegas, for a total distance of 545 miles.

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

In-flight loss of control resulting in airframe structural failure. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadvertant visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions.

Full narrative available

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