FTW95LA276
FTW95LA276

On June 30, 1995, approximately 0830 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 150F, N8155S, was substantially damaged during landing near Garfield, Colorado. The commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

The following is based on the pilot/operator report. As the pilot approached Monarch Pass (elevation 11,312 feet MSL), he determined that cloud coverage ahead would not allow him to continue under visual meteorological conditions. As he "maneuvered the aircraft to avoid flight into IFR conditions, the aircraft began to lose altitude. It was as if the aircraft was caught in a downdraft." The pilot was unable to arrest the descent rate and he made a "hard landing" on a turnoff apron on the south side of U.S. 50, approximately 1/2-mile west on Monarch Pass.

The nearest weather observation facility is 29 nautical miles west of the accident scene, at an elevation of 7,673 feet. Temperature there was 47 degrees Fahrenheit with an altimeter setting of 30.37. Based on a standard temperature lapse rate density altitude at Monarch Pass would have been 11,777 feet MSL.

According to the Cessna Aircraft Company, the service ceiling (the altitude at which the airplane is unable to climb at a rate greater than 100 feet per minute) of the Cessna 150F is 12,650 feet MSL.

The pilot later told an investigator that he would "never fly in high terrain again, at least not without getting some good instruction in mountain flying."

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