NTSB Identification: CEN09LA056
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 11, 2008 in Basalt, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 182M, registration: N71276
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The single-engine airplane went missing and was the subject of an ALNOT (Alert Notification). The following day, the airplane wreckage was located in rugged terrain. An initial on-site examination was conducted; however, due to the remote location of the site, the rugged terrain, and deep winter snow, the airplane was not recovered until late the following summer (approximately 9 months later) for a more detailed examination. A review of the airplaneā€™s radar track showed that the airplane was heading westbound at an altitude of 14,800 feet before disappearing from radar. Prior to the last radar contact at 1530, the airplane appeared to be in a rapid decent indicative of having lost control. Examination of the airplane wreckage showed extensive fragmentation and aft crush damage to the forward fuselage and both wings. Flight control continuity was confirmed and no pre-impact anomalies were discovered with the airplane. Prior to departure, the non-instrument-rated pilot received a standard weather briefing from the Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS). The briefing included an advisory for mountain obscuration and icing conditions along his intended route, and recommended against Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight. Later, the pilot contacted AFSS and received a standard briefing, which included an advisory for mountain obscuration. The briefing also included forecasts for several locations en route which indicated VFR conditions prevailed at those locations, but with multiple layers of clouds. A review of the weather conditions near the site at the time of the accident indicated that the airplane was over an overcast layer of clouds and was likely in instrument meteorological conditions and exposed to icing conditions.

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

The non-instrument-rated pilot's continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his loss of control of the airplane in flight.

Full narrative available

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