NTSB Identification: DEN86FA208A.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 32450.
Accident occurred Saturday, July 26, 1986 in BOULDER, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA-46-310P, registration: N4346L
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 Uninjured.

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.

THE PURPOSE OF THE FLT FOR BOTH ACFT WAS AN AERIAL PHOTO MISSION. N5113S WAS USED AS THE CAMERA PLATFORM. THE PLTS OF N5113S AND N4346L DISCUSSED PRIOR TO TAKEOFF THE PROCEDURES OF THE FLT. BOTH ACFT DEPARTED AND FLEW A COURSE TO POSITION THE AIRPLANES ON A SOUTHERLY HEADING. N5113S WAS TO THE EAST AND SLIGHTLY ABOVE AND AHEAD OF N4346L. THE PHOTOGRAPHER SHOT ONE ROLL OF FILM AND RELOADED. HE WAS READY TO BEGIN SHOOTING WHEN N4346L BEGAN TO CLOSE IN ON N5113S. THE PLT OF N5113S FELT TWO 'BUMPS' AS N4346L CLOSED, AND DID NOT SEE THE ACFT PASS UNDER. THE PLT OF N5113S MANEUVERED HIS ACFT TO DETERMINE CONTROLLABILITY AND SAW N4346L SPIRALLING TO THE GROUND. EXAM OF N4346L REVEALED THE VERT STAB AND RUDDER HAD SEPARATED IN-FLIGHT. THERE WERE NUMEROUS PAINT SMEARS FOUND ON THE RIGHT SIDE ON N5113S.

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

ALTITUDE..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

DISTANCE..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

CLEARANCE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND




Contributing Factors

IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND




Contributing Factors

OVERCONFIDENCE IN PERSONAL ABILITY..PILOT IN COMMAND

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