ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 133519
Last updated: 20 June 2013
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Narrative:On August 3, 1997, approximately 1715 mountain daylight time, a Beech F33A, N179DD, was destroyed when it collided with terrain 9 miles northwest of Creede, Colorado. The commercial pilot and three passengers were seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight was filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Grand Junction, Colorado, approximately 1630.
Beechcraft F33A Bonanaza
|C/n / msn:|| CE-743|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Creede, CO -
United States of America
|Phase:|| Initial climb|
The following is based on a telephone interview with the pilot the day after the accident, and his written accident report. The pilot said he obtained a weather briefing but did not file a flight plan for the proposed flight to Angel Fire, New Mexico. He departed Grand Junction and flew east until he was just south of Gunnison, Colorado, then he turned onto a more southerly course. He said he was using a WAC chart (World Aeronautical Chart, 1:1,000,000) instead of a sectional chart (1:500,000) for navigation, and he thought he was at a safe altitude for the surrounding terrain. As he approached a saddle in a mountain ridge near the Continental Divide (which he thought was 11,500 feet MSL), he realized he was well below the summit. Surrounding terrain prevented him from turning around, so he applied full power in an attempt to climb above the summit. The airplane struck a rock ledge, skidded, and came to rest inverted against an embankment at the 12,200 foot level.
Campers near the San Luis Peak in the La Garita Wilderness Area witnessed the accident. While one camper went for help, the others assisted in removing the occupants, building a shelter, and administering first aid. Rescuers arrived on the scene approximately 0430 on August 4, and evacuated the victims to the hospital later that afternoon.
The accident location was at the intersection of Mineral and East Mineral (dry) Creeks.
PROBABLE CAUSE:The pilot's intentional low altitude flight over mountainous terrain, inadequate altitude to clear surrounding obstacles, and his misjudging vertical clearance. A factor was the pilot's use of an inappropriate chart for navigation.
NTSB id 20001208X08616
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