DEN02LA075
DEN02LA075

On July 13, 2002, approximately 0930 mountain daylight time, a Grumman American AA5B, N28717, was substantially damaged when it struck terrain while maneuvering near Worland, Wyoming. Both the airline transport pilot was seriously injured, but his passenger sustained only minor injuries. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the cross-country flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated in Cody, Wyoming, at 0840, and was en route to Valentine, Nebraska.

In his accident report, the pilot said he was crossing the Big Horn mountain range approximately 800 feet above each series of ridges. He wrote, "After crossing a set of mountains, we hit a downdraft, causing both loss of altitude and loss of airspeed. We attempted a 180-degree turn to get out of the downdraft, but combined with the rising terrain, we were unable to complete the turn. We hit a tree lot at 70 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed) and then impacted the ground."

Both wings and the landing gear were torn off the airplane.

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