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On September 28, 1994, at 0845 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 182K, N2504Q, was destroyed while maneuvering near Heeney, Colorado. The airline transport rated pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local aerial photography flight.
According to the operator the airplane departed Boulder Airport (1V5), Boulder, Colorado, at approximately 0730. The flight was to over-fly Corona Pass, Dillon, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, and Granby, with an estimated time of return to Boulder Airport of 1000. At 1400, a mountain biker on the Colorado Trail near Lake Mahan saw the wreckage of the airplane, and reported it to a Colorado Division of Wildlife officer.
The passenger was a certificated private pilot. He had rented the airplane from a local fixed base operator the day of the accident for the planned flight to photograph the autumn aspen trees.
A review of the airframe and engine records did not reveal any anomalies or uncorrected maintenance defects. Performance and weight and balance calculations were performed using data provided by the manufacturer. An estimate of the weight of the airplane at the time of the accident places it within limits. Performance data indicates the airplane's maximum rate-of-climb was 720 feet per minute with an indicated airspeed of 82 miles per hour at an altitude of 10,000 feet mean sea level. Based on data provided by the manufacturer, it was established that at the altitude described, the aircraft was within the designed performance limit.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The aircraft wreckage was located west of Heeney, Colorado, at latitude 29 degrees 49 minutes 43 seconds north and longitude 106 degrees 23 minutes 12 seconds west. The elevation of the accident site was approximately 10,400 feet. The aircraft came to rest inverted at the initial ground scar on a magnetic heading of 130 degrees. A branch from the top of a 60 to 75 foot tree was found downhill, 375 feet from the airplane wreckage. Two other branches from the tops of trees were found in line and between the first piece and the wreckage. A large tree, 20 inches in diameter, located 68 feet from the wreckage was sheared 30 feet above the ground. Pieces of that tree were located at the initial ground scar. Several of these pieces had paint transfers. The left main landing gear, right wing tip, propeller, and nose landing gear were separated from the aircraft. The fuselage, empennage, and both left and right wings exhibited compression buckling. The propeller blades exhibited torsional bending, chordwise scoring, and leading edge gouging. The flight control cables were verified for their continuity from the control surfaces up through the cabin area.
Examination of the airplane and engine did not disclose any mechanical anomalies. See enclosed wreckage diagram for wreckage distribution details.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The autopsy was performed by Ben Galloway, M.D., at the Tomford Mortuary in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Toxicological findings were negative.
The airplane wreckage was released to the operator.