NTSB Identification: FTW84FA032.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 23185.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 27, 1983 in COLUMBUS, NM
Aircraft: CESSNA 182Q, registration: N735CP
Injuries: 1 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.

THE NON-INSTRUMENT RATED PLT DEPARTED IMPERIAL, CA, AT 2010 PDT, & SHORTLY THEREAFTER, WAS IDENTIFIED & FOLLOWED BY A U.S. CUSTOMS SPECIAL MISSION ACFT. THE ACFT WAS FOLLOWED TO DEMMING, NM. DURING THAT PORTION OF THE FLT, ITS ALTITUDE VARIED FROM ABOUT 500 FT AGL TO 16,000 FT MSL. AT ONE POINT DURING THE FLT, THE ACFT WAS FLOWN AT NEAR THE STALL SPEED. WHILE EN ROUTE, THE PLT FLEW IN & OUT OFF THE CLOUDS. WHEN HE ARRIVED OVER DEMMING, HE MADE TWO 360 DEG TURNS & WAS OBSERVED IN A DESCENDING SPIRAL THRU 9000 FT. THE ACFT CONTINUED FLYING UNTIL IT IMPACTED A 5200 FT MOUNTAINABOUT 23 MI EAST OF COLUMBUS, NM AT AN ELEVATION OF APRX 4750 FT. IMPACT OCCURRED IN STRAIGHT & LEVEL FLT. AN EXAM OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF A PREIMPACT, MECHANICAL PROBLEM. APRX 40 MI ESE AT EL PASO, TX, THE 0248 MDT WX WAS: 800 FT SCATTERED, 3300 FT BROKEN, VISIBILITY 7 MI (ELEVATION 3956 FT). THE AREA FORECAST CALLED FOR SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS & RAIN SHOWERS WITH MOUNTAINS OCCASIONALLY OBSCURED.

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

PROPER ALTITUDE..NOT MAINTAINED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..MOUNTAINOUS/HILLY


Contributing Factors

FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER..CONTINUED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..HIGH TERRAIN


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..RISING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..LOW CEILING


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..OBSCURATION

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