NTSB Identification: LAX07FA123.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 09, 2007 in Page, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N6267D
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 two private pilots had flown to Colorado to visit relatives and the accident occurred during their return flight to their home airport. Both pilots were current in the airplane. However, the pilot in the left seat was more experienced, being certificated in 1986 and having 220 total flight hours, of which 111 were in cross-country flying. The pilot in the right seat was certificated in 2006. His total flying and cross-country experience was, respectively, 79 and 22 hours. Prior to taking off from the intermediate fuel stop (at an elevation 4,316 feet mean sea level), the airplane's fuel tanks were topped off. This action increased the airplane's gross weight to within 100 pounds of its certificated maximum weight. Thereafter, the pilots departed under a clear sky with at least 10 miles visibility on a westerly course toward Nevada. The pilots entered an area of rapidly rising terrain, which would have been in clear view as they approached the area. The flying pilot failed to initiate a climb in sufficient time to avoid the mountainside in a box-like canyon. Based on a review of the ground scars and impact signatures in the wreckage, as the pilot attempted to reverse course in the canyon, the airplane appeared to have stalled and impacted a rocky outcrop while in a nose down attitude. The collision occurred about 250 feet below the rim of the canyon wall, at an elevation of 5,670 feet msl. Post accident inspection of the airframe and engine found no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate terrain clearance altitude, and, his failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while maneuvering to reverse course in a box canyon. Contributing to the accident were the rising terrain and the box canyon.

Full narrative available

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