NTSB Identification: DEN90LA025.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39342.
Accident occurred Saturday, November 25, 1989 in STEAMBOAT SPGS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/09/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28, registration: N6385R
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.

WHILE EN ROUTE FROM BELOIT, KS, TO STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, CO, THE PLT LANDED AT FORT MORGAN, CO, FOR FUEL. HE TELEPHONED THE DENVER AFSS TO OBTAIN A WX BRIEFING & WAS TOLD VFR FLT WAS NOT RECOMMENDED. ACCORDING TO THE PLT, AS HE APCHD BUFFALO PASS AT 11,500 FT MSL, HE ENCTRD 'A SUDDEN, STRONG DOWNDRAFT' & APPLICATION OF FULL POWER DID NOT ARREST THE SINK RATE. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE STRUCK TREES AS THE PLT WAS TURNING AROUND. ACCORDING TO THE PASSENGER, IFR CONDITIONS WERE ENCTRD, THE ACFT BEGAN ACCUMULATING ICE & IT CRASHED DRG A TURN TO REVERSE DIRECTION. APRX 28 MI WEST AT HAYDEN (ELEV 6597'), THE 1050 MST WX WAS IN PART: SKY PARTIALLY OBSCD, 1000' SCATTERED, ESTD CEILING 3000' OVC, VIS 6 MI WITH LIGHT SNOW, WIND 250 DEG AT 7 KTS.

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

CONTINUED VFR FLIGHT BY THE PILOT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) AND HIS DELAY IN DIVERTING OR REVERSING COURSE. THE TERRAIN, WEATHER CONDITIONS, WING ICE, AND TREES WERE CONSIDERED TO BE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS.

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