NTSB Identification: WPR13FA008
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 09, 2012 in Laramie Peak, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2014
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-301T, registration: N110UM
Injuries: 4 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 noninstrument-rated pilot departed on a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-county flight with a planned intermediate fuel stop. Following the intermediate fuel stop, the pilot continued the flight toward his intended destination. Recorded radar data showed the airplane in level flight at 8,500 feet mean sea level (msl) for about 12 minutes followed by a slow climb. The last recorded radar target was located about 1/4 mile from the accident site at an altitude of about 9,700 feet msl. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane collided with rising mountainous terrain just below the peak of a ridgeline. Weather conditions at the departure and destination airports were VFR; however, AIRMETs for instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), mountain obscuration, and moderate icing conditions were in effect throughout the area around the time of the accident. It is likely that the pilot continued visual flight into IMC, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient clearance from rising terrain. It could not be determined if the pilot obtained a weather briefing for the flight. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of preimpact 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 noninstrument-rated pilot’s continued visual flight into instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in his failure to maintain sufficient clearance from rising terrain.

Full narrative available

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