NTSB Identification: DEN03FA040.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 30, 2003 in Rock Springs, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Beech V35B, registration: N935V
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 encountered moderate rime icing at 13,000 feet msl. After considering the extent of the weather, the pilot elected to land at an intermediate airport. ARTCC cleared the pilot for an ILS approach for landing. The pilot reported breaking out of the weather and having trouble identifying the airport. The air traffic control center controller advised the pilot that the airport was at 11 o'clock at 12 miles. The pilot said he had "let his altitude slip," that he was coming around a big peak, and that he was "going to go around that." Less than a minute later, radio and radar contact with the airplane was lost. At the last known position, the airplane was 14.49 nautical miles on a bearing of 097 degrees from the airport, at an altitude of 8,000 feet mean sea level (msl). The air traffic control center issued an Alert Notification and search and rescue was initiated. The airplane was located 7 hours later. The airplane had impacted the terrain in a 40-degree nose-low attitude and was destroyed in a subsequent post crash explosion and fire. An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies. At the time of accident, the routine aviation weather report at the airport was 3,900 feet overcast skies, 10 miles visibility, temperature 41 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 25 degrees F, winds 250 degrees at 22 knots, gusts to 26 knots, and altimeter 30.09 inches of Mercury.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed, resulting in a stall. Factors contributing to the accident were the icing conditions, low altitude, and the high gusting winds.
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