WPR12LA231
WPR12LA231

On May 26, 2012, about 2150 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 172G, N4640L, collided with mountainous terrain while maneuvering about five miles southeast of Silver City, Idaho. The private pilot and two passengers received minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, wings and flight control surfaces. The airplane was registered to the pilot, and operated as a personal flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Marginal visual meteorological conditions prevailed and dusk light prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the cross-county flight. The flight originated from Rome, Oregon (REO), about 1930. The pilot’s intended destination was Mountain Home, Idaho (U76).

The pilot reported that the accident flight was the third flight leg of the day. Earlier in the day he flew with his passengers from Lodi, California, to Susanville, California. About 1400 the pilot departed Susanville with a planned destination of Mountain Home, Idaho. About 1 hour after departing Susanville, the pilot “turned back” due to deteriorating weather conditions and diverted to Rome, Oregon. The pilot landed in Rome uneventfully. Initially, the pilot and passengers planned to overnight in Rome; however, weather conditions improved and the pilot again departed for Mountain Home.

As the flight progressed over mountainous terrain (Owyhee Mountains) weather conditions deteriorated and the pilot encountered reduced flight visibility, broken clouds and precipitation; a passenger reported the flight visibility dropped to “zero.” While maneuvering over a ridgeline and nearby weather, the pilot stated the airplane "stalled." He pushed the nose down to “break” the aerodynamic stall and then pitched up abruptly to match approaching rising terrain. The airplane subsequently impacted trees and settled to the ground.

Initial rescue efforts were delayed due to snow showers and poor visibility. On May 28, search and rescue personnel reached the accident site and airlifted the pilot and passengers to a regional medical facility in Boise, Idaho.

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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