NTSB Identification: DEN01FA027.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 14, 2000 in OGDEN, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/02/2002
Aircraft: Mooney M20K, registration: N5772C
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.

During descent at the end of a dark night VFR cross country flight, the pilot reported that he had his destination in sight and cancelled flight following. Approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds later, the airplane, which was heading west, impacted the east side of a mountain ridge about 6 nautical miles short of the destination airport. The weather conditions in the accident area were high winds from the west with blowing snow. Additionally, moderate to severe turbulence was forecast below 10,000 feet. The pilot's total flight time on the day of the accident was 9 hours 39 minutes. During examination of the airplane wreckage, no pre-impact engine or airframe anomalies that might have affected the airplane's performance were identified.

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

the pilot's inadvertent VFR flight into IMC, which resulted in a collision with mountainous terrain. Contributing factors were the blowing snow, turbulence, dark night light conditions, and pilot fatigue due to the long flight day.

Full narrative available

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