NTSB Identification: WPR10CA279
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 05, 2010 in Bountiful, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172H, registration: N3948R
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that she was flying into a canyon at 6,100 feet with the intent to climb through it and over the surrounding terrain. During the ascent the airplane started to lose airspeed and altitude. She attempted to turn around, but she felt that the airplane would stall due to an insufficient amount of airspeed and she abandoned the attempt. The pilot initiated a forced landing into trees at the bottom of a ravine and the airplane received substantial damage to the wings, fuselage and empennage. The calculated density altitude for the existing atmospheric conditions was 8,238 feet. The published maximum operating altitude for the airplane is 13,100 feet. The pilot reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine at the time of the accident. The pilot stated the accident could have been prevented by acquiring enough altitude prior to entering the canyon.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain. Contributing to the accident was the high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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