NTSB Identification: DEN89FA222.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39687.
Accident occurred Monday, September 18, 1989 in AFTON, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1991
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N739XX
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.

AS THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT WAS RETURNING FROM A X-COUNTRY FLT AT NIGHT, THE ACFT CRASHED ON RISING TERRAIN. IMPACT OCCURRED AT AN ELEVATION OF ABOUT 10,300 FT, NEAR THE TOP OF A MTN RIDGE. NO PREIMPACT PART FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION WAS FOUND. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THERE WAS A FAST MOVING COLD FRONT IN THE AREA WITH TSTMS. ABOUT 30 MI SE AT ROCK SPRINGS, WY, THE WX WAS IN PART: 1300 FT BROKEN, 5 MI VIS WITH RAIN, WIND FM 280 DEG AT 17 GUSTING 22 KTS.

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

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PILOT'S CONTINUED FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO CLEAR THE TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: DARKNESS, ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, AND RISING/MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN.

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