DEN05LA060
DEN05LA060

On March 1, 2005, approximately 0925 mountain standard time, a Piel Emeraude CP-305 single-engine homebuilt airplane, N9091, piloted by a private pilot, was destroyed when it impacted terrain while maneuvering near Del Norte, Colorado. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The private pilot, who was the owner of the airplane, and pilot-rated passenger sustained fatal injuries. The flight originated from Del Norte Municipal and County Airport (8V1), Del Norte, Colorado, approximately 0920.

According to local authorities, the pilot and passenger were flying to South Park, Colorado, to look at a radio for the passenger. A witness observed the accident airplane depart 8V1 on runway 26, and within a few minutes, the witness lost sight of the airplane behind rising terrain adjacent to the airport. The witness stated the "engine sounded normal" during the takeoff. Another witness, who was located in his residence, stated he heard an airplane, and a few minutes later, he heard a "pop." The witness observed a fire on a hillside and responded to the accident site. At 0925, the local authorities received a 911 call reporting a fire on the north side of a 300-foot butte, approximately 2 miles northwest of Del Norte. Approximately 0945, the local authorities confirmed an aircraft wreckage at the location of the fire.

According to the pilot's most recent medical application, he had accumulated a total of 900 total flight hours. The pilot held a private pilot certificate and was issued a third class medical certificate on December 30, 2003, with a limitation for corrective lenses. The airplane was registered to the pilot and a co-owner on January 16, 2003, and was based at 8V1.

The accident site was located approximately 1 mile southwest of 8V1 near the base of a 300 foot tall hill. According to local authorities, the airplane impacted the terrain and came to rest approximately 167 feet from the initial impact. The airplane was destroyed by fire. Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed the propeller blades displayed leading edge gouging, chordwise scratches, and were twisted in the direction of rotation. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to the flight control surfaces.

At 0852, the reported weather conditions at San Luis Valley Regional/Bergman Field (ALS), Alamosa, CO, located approximately 30 nautical miles southeast of the accident site, were wind from 310 degrees at 5 knots, visibility, 10 statute miles, sky broken at 6,500 feet, temperature 1 degree Celcius, dew point minus 6 degrees Celcius, altimeter setting of 30.02 inches of mercury. The calculated density altitude was 7,559 feet msl.

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