NTSB Identification: DEN01FA161.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, September 24, 2001 in PAGOSA SPRINGS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N161RB
Injuries: 2 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 airplane was on a non-scheduled cargo flight which was projected to fly an approximate 240 degree course for 92 nm. The accident site was located on a heavily forested steep mountain side, 15 to 16 nm north of the airplane's projected course. The debris field began at an east-west ridge line, and progressed for 300 feet on a 010 degree track to the downed airplane. Examination of the airframe and engines revealed no evidence of preimpact discrepancies. The accident site was in an area where the Fall color of the aspens was at its peak. Additionally, it was an area where elk were sometimes observed.

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

the flight crews' intentional low altitude flight, and failure to maintain obstacle clearance.

Full narrative available

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