NTSB Identification: DEN89LA174.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39521.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 19, 1989 in CRESTED BUTTE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-160, registration: N5673W
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLT REPORTED THAT DURING FLT AT 11,300 FT MSL NEAR A 12,516 FT MOUNTAIN, HE SAW A HERD OF ELK. HE MADE A LEFT TURN TO RETURN TO THE MOUNTAIN. HE SAID THE PLANE ENCOUNTERED A DOWNDRAFT THAT PRODUCED A 500 FPM RATE OF DESCENT. THE PLT APPLIED FULL POWER, BUT COULD NOT STOP THE DESCENT. HE SAW A CLEAR AREA NEAR THE 10,000 FT LEVEL & ELECTED TO LAND. DURING THE LANDING, BOTH WINGS, THE FUSELAGE AND THE LANDING GEAR WERE DAMAGED.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE WHILE FLYING OVER MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. THE TERRAIN AND WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE RELATED FACTORS.

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