NTSB Identification: SEA08FA146
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, May 30, 2008 in Monticello, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/25/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: N389ES
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 sightseeing flight departed with one passenger on a 2-hour tour, landed at an auxiliary airstrip an hour into the flight for a short break, then departed and continued the tour. After departing the auxiliary strip, another company tour pilot in the area reported conversing with the accident pilot. The company pilot subsequently asked the accident pilot a question, to which the accident pilot did not respond. There were no further communications with the accident pilot. A lone hiker in the area reported observing the airplane fly from her left to her right in a right bank and below the rim of a canyon before it went out of sight. The airplane reappeared about a minute later, this time flying from her right to her left and still below the rim of the canyon, but lower and in a steep bank before it again went out of sight. The hiker subsequently came upon the airplane wreckage and reported its position to local authorities. The airplane was located in a confined canyon about 38 miles southwest of the destination airport. Wreckage and impact signatures were consistent with the airplane having impacted terrain in a nose low, right wing down attitude before impacting two trees. Propeller signatures were consistent with rotational forces being applied to the crankshaft at the time of impact. There was no postcrash fire. All flight control components were accounted for at the accident site. Examination of the engine and airframe revealed no evidence of any preexisting mechanical anomalies. No conclusive evidence was found that could determine the cause of the accident.

*This report was modified on December 10, 2009.

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

The in-flight collision with mountainous terrain for undetermined reasons.

*This report was modified on December 10, 2009.

Full narrative available

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