NTSB Identification: WPR09FA282
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 03, 2009 in Atlanta, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/11/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 182M, registration: N70946
Injuries: 1 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 single engine airplane impacted a vertical rock cliff face in mountainous terrain about 500 feet below a mountain ridge line. Global Positioning System (GPS) data was recovered from a portable GPS unit that was located with the airplane wreckage. The GPS data track originated in the vicinity of the departure airport, and proceeded at 8,350 feet mean sea level (msl) northeast for 57 miles, and abruptly ends in the vicinity of the accident site. During the last 2 minutes of the flight, the track increased in altitude from 8,350 feet to 8,891 feet msl. The height of the mountain ridge line directly ahead of the airplanes' flight path was between 9,100 feet and 9,580 feet msl. The end of the GPS track did not exhibit any deviations that could be interpreted as an evasive maneuver. The cloud coverage in the vicinity of the accident location was between scattered and broken, with bases between 8,000 and 9,000 feet msl, cloud tops were about 15,000 feet msl, with visibility greater than 3 miles in cloud-free areas.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain terrain clearance during cruise flight.

Full narrative available

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