On March 16, 1994, at 1745 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28- 140B, Canadian registry NCGUFK, was destroyed while maneuvering near Montrose, Colorado. The private pilot sustained serious injuries and the two passengers sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight.

According to the passenger, upon taking off from Montrose County Airport, the aircraft did not gain altitude and impacted a ridge line. She further stated that the pilot recognized that the airplane would not clear the ridge line, so he decided to "crash land" the aircraft. The aircraft impacted the forward slope 150 feet below the crest. The ridge line was about 10 nautical miles from the departure point.

An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies that would have prevented the airplane from climbing.

Repeated attempts to obtain a Pilot/Operator Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, were thwarted by the pilot's inability to complete it due to his injuries.

The aircraft was released to the owner.

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