NTSB Identification: DEN03LA027.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 01, 2003 in Milford, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/2003
Aircraft: Aircraft Mfg & Dev. Co. (AMD) CH2000, registration: N8500R
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The two pilots received an in-person weather briefing from the Flight Service Station at 2000. They said that they would later air-file an IFR flight plan so that they could practice instrument approaches. They departed about 2100. Approximately 2200, the Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 cellular telephone call from one of the airplane's occupants, advising that they had crashed, one of the occupants was trapped in the wreckage, and that he was unable to activate the ELT (emergency locator transmitter). Using NTAP (National Track Analysis Program) data from the Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and homing in on the cellular telephone signals, the wreckage was located about midnight. The two pilots were airlifted to a hospital in serious condition. One of the pilots told a sheriff's detective that they did not see the mountain. The accident site was at an elevation of about 8,500 feet msl. The Sectional Chart depicted terrain in that area at 8,840 feet msl. The instructor was reportedly "familiar with the area" and did not consult his VFR sectional charts. U.S. Naval Observatory data indicated the Moon's phase was a waning crescent, with 1 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

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

the inadequate altitude chosen by the flight instructor, resulting in inadequate clearance and subsequent collision with mountainous terrain. Contributing factors were the instructor's failure to consult pertinent VFR sectional charts for the area, and the dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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