NTSB Identification: SEA05FA169.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 12, 2005 in Cascade, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2082Q
Injuries: 3 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, who was en route to an airport where he and his passengers were going to participate in a family gathering, was maneuvering the aircraft at a low altitude in mountainous terrain about four miles from the destination airport. While flying up a slope toward a saddle in a ridge, the pilot failed to maintain clearance from the forest below, and the aircraft contacted a sixty foot tall conifer tree about four feet from its top. The aircraft then impacted a number of other trees, descended into the ground, and was almost totally consumed by fire. The saddle in the ridge was approximately 300 feet higher than the accident site, and about one-third mile further along the flight track. The investigation determined that the pilot was maneuvering in an area of gusty winds while at a density altitude of over 10,000 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a stand of conifer trees during low altitude maneuvering in mountainous terrain. Factors include the mountainous/hilly terrain, gusty winds, a high density altitude, and maneuvering at a low altitude.

Full narrative available

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