The pilot stated that he was en route to a remote cabin site, and he made a wrong turn into a box canyon. As he flew farther into the canyon, he had to initiate a climb to avoid rising terrain ahead, and the airplane subsequently climbed into an area of light rain, fog, and reduced visibility. He said that as he was attempting to turn the airplane around, the left wing impacted terrain, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing, fuselage, and empennage. The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane was equipped with a required emergency locator transmitter (ELT), however, it was an older generation ELT that transmitted only on 121.5 megahertz, not the newer, digital version that transmits on 406 megahertz.

As of February 2009, the search and rescue satellites that receive ELT signals no longer had the capability to receive the older analog 121.5 megahertz ELTs. The 406 megahertz ELTs are received within seconds of activation, and rescuers are notified within minutes of the accident location.

In this accident, the pilot and passenger were missing for approximately 24 hours before searchers were able to locate the wreckage.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page