NTSB Identification: DEN01FA056.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 26, 2001 in Green River, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Beech V35B, registration: N4637M
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 pilot had been skiing in the Rocky Mountains (elevation 8,900 feet) for a week. He departed in his non-pressurized single-engine airplane and climbed up to 21,600 feet; he had no supplemental oxygen onboard. Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes into the flight, the airplane reached a maximum altitude of 22,100 feet before entering a rapid descent. The airplane impacted mountainous terrain in an uncontrolled spin. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of any pre-impact discrepancies. The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) functioned properly, and the airplane was located by the Civil Air Patrol the following day.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control as a result of incapacitation (from hypoxia) due to the in-flight decision to fly at altitudes where oxygen is required, without oxygen available.

Full narrative available

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