NTSB Identification: LAX06FA304
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 24, 2006 in Sedona, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 182K, registration: N2700Q
Injuries: 2 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 flight departed from Phoenix, Arizona, on a personal cross-country flight to Sedona, Arizona. Radar data indicate that the flight remained between 8,400 feet mean sea level (msl) and 8,300 feet msl until it was about three miles north of exit 278 on Arizona Highway 17. At that time the airplane began to descend at a rate of about 500 feet per minute and, at the time of its last radar hit, was traveling at 5,200 feet msl at a point about nine miles southwest of the Sedona Airport. When the airplane did not reach its planned destination, concerned family members contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and a search was initiated, but the airplane was not located and positively identified for another 31 months. The wreckage was found at the very eastern end of a steep narrow canyon, at about 6,200 feet mean sea level, and about 10.5 miles northwest of the destination airport. Review of the accident site indicated that the airplane impacted mature conifer trees growing along the steep (60 degrees plus) walls of the canyon and then came to rest up against a rock wall. There was clear evidence of a postcrash fire. At the completion of the airframe, engine, and propeller inspections, no clear evidence was found to indicate there had been a malfunction or anomaly that would have contributed to a loss of engine power or a problem with controlling the airplane's flight path or attitude. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were clear skies with calm wind. The approximate density altitude at the accident site was calculated to be between 7,000 and 7,400 feet.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from trees and terrain while maneuvering in mountainous/hilly terrain in a high density altitude environment.

Full narrative available

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