DEN03LA027
DEN03LA027

On January 1, 2003, approximately 2200 mountain standard time, an Aircraft Manufacturing & Development Company CH2000, N8500R, registered to and operated by the Salt Lake Community College, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain 7.1 miles southeast of Milford, Utah. The commercial certificated flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Cedar City, Utah, approximately 2100, and was en route to Salt Lake City, Utah.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the two pilots received an in-person weather briefing from the Cedar City Flight Service Station at 2000. They said that when they arrived in the vicinity of Delta, Utah, they would air-file an IFR flight plan to Salt Lake City International Airport so that they could practice instrument approaches. They departed about 2100. Approximately 2200, the Beaver County Sheriff's Office received a 9-1-1 cellular telephone call from one of the airplane's occupants, advising that they had "crashed north of Milford," one of the occupants was trapped in the wreckage, and that he was unable to activate the ELT (emergency locator transmitter). Using NTAP (National Track Analysis Program) data from the Salt Lake City Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) and homing in on the cellular telephone signals, the wreckage was located about midnight, 7.1 miles east-southeast of the Milford VORTAC on the 116 degree radial. The two pilots were airlifted to a Salt Lake City hospital in serious condition.

One of the pilots told a sheriff's detective that they did not see the mountain. The accident site was at an elevation of about 8,500 feet msl. The Salt Lake City Sectional Chart depicts terrain in that area at 8,840 feet msl. The instructor was reportedly "familiar with the area" and did not consult his VFR sectional charts.

U.S. Naval Observatory data indicated the Moon's phase was a waning crescent, with 1 percent of the visible disk illuminated.

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