NTSB Identification: LAX05LA324.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 31, 2005 in Mountain City, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N2333J
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 airplane impacted trees and terrain while presumably maneuvering toward a rapidly rising mountain ridgeline. The pilot was last seen refueling his airplane at the departure airport. After failing to arrive at his intended destination, an Alert Notice (ALNOT) was issued and search efforts were initiated. There were no air traffic control services rendered to the pilot and no radar data was available for the accident flight. The wreckage was located almost 2 months after the accident, with the pilot and passenger still on board. The airplane came to rest at the base of a stand of trees following a nose down, near vertical descent profile, which resulted in the aft crushing of the cockpit/cabin area. A pine tree, measuring about 8 inches in circumference, was located underneath and adjacent to the wreckage, and was cut into 36-inch logs, indicating an operative engine/rotating propeller. Plotting of the accident site on a topographic map indicated that the wreckage was located about 400 feet below a 9,000- to 9,300-foot ridgeline. The wreckage came to rest below a small gap in the rapidly rising ridgeline. A valley led to the rising ridge, and from the valley to the accident site, the average grade was 22 percent. From the accident site to the top of the ridge was an average grade of 20 percent.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering in mountainous terrain, which led to a stall and impact with trees and terrain.

Full narrative available

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