On September 29, 2008, approximately 1100 hours mountain daylight time (MDT), a Cessna CE-172K, N736LN,, was substantially damaged during impact with terrain while maneuvering southeast of Leadville, Colorado. The flight instructor, student pilot, and passenger, received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to Givin You The Bird LLC and operated by Alliance Flight Training LLC. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight. The flight originated from the Lake County Airport (LXV) Leadville, Colorado on a flight to the Front Range Airport (FTG) Denver, Colorado. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The flight instructor was demonstrating how to maneuver at about 400 feet to 1,000 feet above mountainous terrain and use updrafts on the west face of the ridge line to improve climb performance. Another airplane flying from FXV to FTG was about five minutes ahead of N736LN and had reported they were getting updrafts that gave them occasional climb rates of up to 500 to 600 feet per minute. N736LN was headed toward rising terrain and climbing at approximately 400 to 500 feet per minute when suddenly the airplane quit climbing and the stall warning sounded. The flight instructor took over the controls, lowered flaps, maintained full engine power at approximately 2,700 rpm and made a crash landing at approximately 12,000 feet mean sea level on the upslope side of the mountain. The airplane struck terrain with the wings level approximately 500 feet below the crest of the mountain ridge and came to rest inverted 50 feet from the initial impact point. Both the flight instructor and the student pilot were able to make cellular phone calls to 911 emergency to report the crash. An emergency medical service helicopter then responded and evacuated the three injured occupants.
The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane’s flight controls. The pilot further reported that he had filed and activated a VFR flight plan. Records from the Prescott Hub automated flight service station (AFSS) show the pilot telephoned at 0658 to obtain a preflight weather briefing. During the preflight weather briefing the pilot filed a VFR flight plan from FTG to FTG with a fuel stop at FXV. He estimated his departure from FTG at 0700 with an estimated time of arrival at FTG of 1200. At 0822 the Prescott AFSS received a call at the in-flight position when the pilot reported the weather conditions over Rollins Pass, 46 miles west of FTG. The pilot did not make a request to activate the flight plan.
The airplane was recovered to the Beegles Aircraft Service Inc, at Greeley, Colorado where an inspection of the airframe and engine did not disclose any evidence of preexisting anomalies with either.