NTSB Identification: WPR12FA395
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 03, 2012 in Murtaugh, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2014
Aircraft: SKYKITS USA CORP SAVANNAH ADV, registration: N9764J
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 pilot was flying over his mountainous ranch property to check on his cattle following a fire. When he did not return, the family reported him overdue. The wreckage was subsequently found on the ranch property at an elevation of about 7,115 feet mean sea level. The density altitude at ground level was estimated to be about 12,495 feet; the operating limitations for the airplane state that the maximum ceiling is about 14,000 feet pressure altitude at maximum weight. On-site wreckage documentation indicated that the airplane collided with terrain in a nearly vertical attitude. Because of the high density altitude on the day of the accident and the elevation of the terrain, the pilot had little altitude within which to operate before reaching the airplane's maximum ceiling. It is likely that, while maneuvering the airplane near or above the airplane's maximum ceiling, the pilot failed to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in a stall and a subsequent loss of control. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering at or above the airplane's maximum ceiling, which resulted in a stall and a subsequent loss of airplane control. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's decision to operate the airplane in the high density altitude conditions, which placed the airplane near or above its maximum ceiling.

Full narrative available

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