FTW95LA025
FTW95LA025

On October 22, 1994, approximately 1525 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172H, N2721L, was destroyed when it collided with trees near Tres Piedras, New Mexico. The airplane, owned and operated by the private pilot, was on a personal cross country flight. There was no flight plan filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot and the three passengers received minor injuries.

According to the pilot, in an interview conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, after refueling in Raton, New Mexico, he was en route to Durango, Colorado, via the pass between Raton and Taos, New Mexico. In the initial FAA interview and subsequent interviews with the state police the pilot stated that the "terrain in the pass out climbed the performance of the airplane" and he attempted a 180 degree turn to the left at 80 - 90 knots in order to "return to lower terrain." The pilot stated that during the turn the aircraft's airspeed was "60 knots" on the airspeed indicator, and the GPS indicated a "slow ground speed." He further reported that he heard the sound of the "stall warning horn." The pilot also recalled that after he heard the stall warning horn, the "nose pitched down to the low wing," the left wing. During the uncontrolled descent the airplane clipped aspen trees and then collided with the ground. The accident site elevation was approximately 10,560 feet MSL.

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