NTSB Identification: DEN06FA132.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 15, 2006 in Telluride, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Beech 35-C33, registration: N5893J
Injuries: 4 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 the final leg of a cross-country flight to Telluride, Colorado. Denver Center picked up the airplane on radar approximately 38 miles northwest of Taos, New Mexico, heading toward Pagosa Springs, Colorado, at 15,800 feet. Just southeast of Pagosa Springs, the airplane turned toward the southwest. Approximately 5 minutes later, the airplane resumed a west-northwesterly course toward the Telluride area. Approximately 25 miles south of the Telluride Regional Airport, the airplane made a turn to the north. The airplane had descended to 15,000 feet. One minute later, radar showed the airplane in a 600 foot-per-minute descent that eventually took the airplane below 14,000 feet. Approximately 12 miles south of the airport, the airplane turned to the west-northwest. The airplane was at 13,900 feet on a course toward Wilson Peak and the Lizard Head Pass area. Approximately 3 miles southeast of Wilson Peak (elevation 14,246 feet), radar showed the airplane enter a 2,000 foot-per-minute descent. The airplane's groundspeed increased from 149 to 260 knots. The airplane leveled off momentarily at 13,400 feet and then entered a 2,000 foot-per-minute climb. The airplane's groundspeed was 191 knots. Approximately 12 seconds later, radar contact with the airplane was lost. At last contact, the airplane was at 13,500 feet and within 1 mile of the southeast face of Wilson Peak. Rescue teams located the airplane near the summit of Wilson Peak the following day. Airplane wreckage was located on all sides of the mountain. An examination of the wreckage at the scene showed no pre-impact anomalies. A meteorological study of weather conditions around Wilson Peak at the time of the accident indicated the potential for severe turbulence and rotors.

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

The pilot's inadvertent flight into mountain wave turbulence resulting in the airplane's loss of control and subsequent impact into mountainous terrain. Factors contributing to the accident were the mountain wave turbulence and high winds.

Full narrative available

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