NTSB Identification: DEN07FA140.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 20, 2007 in Dayton, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 182R, registration: N6109N
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 accident airplane departed approximately 1530 for a search and rescue mission in the mountains. A witness in the area observed an airplane, matching the description of the accident airplane, flying approximately 400 to 600 feet above the ground. The burning wreckage of the accident airplane was located north of the witnesses position approximately 1800, on the east down sloping face of a vegetated canyon wall. The airplane was destroyed by fire. An examination of the airplane's systems revealed no anomalies. An AIRMET for moderate low-level turbulence was valid for the area. Winds in the area of the accident were recorded gusting to 25 miles per hour. Winds normal to the ridgeline of 20 knots or greater is conducive to leeside turbulence. Mission procedures state that the pilot should adjust the search altitude based upon the winds aloft - 10 knots of wind results in an addition of 1,000 feet to the search altitude and 20 knots of wind results in an addition of 2,000 feet to the search altitude. The pilot reported on his mission planning statement that his search altitude would be 1,000 feet.

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

the pilot's inability to maintain aircraft control while maneuvering in mountainous terrain due to gusty wind conditions, and lee side turbulence. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision making, and his failure to follow operational procedures regarding altitudes flown.

Full narrative available

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