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Crash of a Piper PA-46-500TP Malibu Meridian in Steamboat Springs: 1 killed

Date & Time: Dec 10, 2021 at 1812 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N744Z
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Site:
Schedule:
Cody – Steamboat Springs
MSN:
46-97134
YOM:
2002
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Circumstances:
The pilot, sole on board, departed Cody, Wyoming, on a private flight to Steamboat Springs. While approaching Steamboat Springs-Bob Adams Airport by night, the pilote encountered limited visibility due to low clouds. On final, the airplane impacted trees and crashed in a wooded area located on the slope of Mt Emerald, about 6 km south of airport runway 32. The aircraft was destroyed and the pilot was killed.

Crash of a Beechcraft E90 King Air in Rawlins: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 11, 2005 at 2145 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N41WE
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Steamboat Springs – Rawlins
MSN:
LW-280
YOM:
1978
Location:
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
3
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
3778
Captain / Total hours on type:
414.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8921
Circumstances:
The air ambulance was dispatched from Steamboat Springs, Colorado (SBS), to pick up and transport a patient in serious condition from Rawlins Municipal Airport/Harvey Field (RWL) to Casper, Wyoming. Approaching RWL, the pilot initiated a right turn outbound to maneuver for the final approach course of the VOR/GPS approach to runway 22. On the inbound course to the airport, the airplane impacted mountainous terrain, approximately 2.5 nautical miles east-northeast of the airport. The airplane, configured for landing, struck the terrain wings level, in a 45-degree nose-down dive, consistent with impact following an aerodynamic stall. Approximately 5 minutes before the accident, RWL reported broken ceilings at 1,100 and 1,800 feet above ground level (agl), 3,100 feet agl overcast, visibility 2.5 statute miles with light snow and mist, temperature 33 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point 30 degrees F, winds 240 degrees at 3 knots, and altimeter 29.35 inches. Before departing SBS, the pilot received a weather briefing from Denver Flight Service. The briefer told the pilot that there was a band of light to moderate snow shower activity halfway between Rock Springs and Rawlins, spreading to the northeast. The briefer told the pilot there were adverse conditions and flight precautions along his route for occasional mountain or terrain obscurations. The pilot responded that he planned to fly instrument flight rules for the entire flight. The National Weather Service, Surface Analysis showed a north-south stationary front positioned along the front range of the Rocky Mountains beginning at the Wyoming/Montana border and extending south into north-central Colorado. Station plots indicated patchy snow over western Colorado and Wyoming. The most recent AIRMET reported, "Occasional moderate rime or mixed icing in clouds and precipitation between the freezing level and flight level 220." The freezing level for the area encompassing the route of flight began at the surface. Witnesses in the vicinity of RWL reported surface weather conditions varying from freezing rain to heavy snow. An examination of the airplane showed clear ice up to 1 ½ inches thick adhering to the vertical stabilizer, the left and right wings, the right main landing gear tire, and the right propeller. The airplane's aerodynamic performance was degraded due to the ice contamination, leading to a stall. An examination of the airplane's systems revealed no anomalies. A human factors review of interviews and other materials showed insufficient evidence that the company placed pressure on the pilot to take the flight; however, the review did not rule out the pilot inducing pressure on himself. FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 135-15, Emergency Medical Services/Airplane (EMS/A) addresses several subject areas not practiced by the operator, including, "Additional considerations when planning IFR flights include the following: (1) Avoid flight in icing weather whenever possible."
Probable cause:
The pilot's inadvertent flight into adverse weather [severe icing] conditions, resulting in an aerodynamic stall impact with rising, mountainous terrain during approach. A factor contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate planning for the forecasted icing conditions.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 208B Super Cargomaster in Steamboat Springs: 1 killed

Date & Time: May 5, 2001 at 0858 LT
Type of aircraft:
Operator:
Registration:
N948FE
Flight Type:
Survivors:
No
Schedule:
Casper – Steamboat Springs
MSN:
208B-0052
YOM:
1987
Flight number:
FDX8810
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
0
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
1
Captain / Total flying hours:
2916
Captain / Total hours on type:
43.00
Aircraft flight hours:
8690
Circumstances:
The pilot obtained a weather briefing, filed an IFR flight plan, and departed on a nonscheduled domestic cargo flight, carrying 270 pounds of freight. The flight proceeded uneventfully until it was established on the VOR/DME-C approach. Radar data indicates that after turning inbound towards the VORTAC from the DME arc, the airplane began its descent from 10,600 feet to the VOR crossing altitude of 9,200 feet. Enlargement of the radar track showed the airplane correcting slightly to the left as it proceeded inbound to the VORTAC at 9,400 feet. Shortly thereafter, aircraft track and altitude deviated 0.75 miles northwest and 9,700 feet, 0.5 miles southeast and 9,600 feet, and 0.5 miles northwest and 9,400 feet before disappearing from radar. Witnesses said the weather at the time of the accident was 600 foot overcast, 1.5 miles visibility in "misting" rain that became "almost slushy on the ground," and a temperature of 36 degrees Fahrenheit. One weather study indicated "an icing potential greater than 50% and visible moisture" in the accident area. Another report said "icing conditions were likely present in the area of the accident." The airplane was equipped and certified for flight into known icing conditions. The wreckage was found in a closely area. There was no evidence of pre-impact airframe, engine, or propeller malfunction/failure. The pilot was properly certificated, but his flight time in aircraft make/model was only 38 hours. He had previously recorded 16 icing encounters, totaling 11.2 hours in actual meteorological conditions. He recorded no ice encounters and only 1.0 hour of simulated (hooded) instrument time in the Cessna 208. Microscopic examination of annunciator light bulbs revealed the GENERATOR OFF light was illuminated. This condition indicates a generator disconnection due to a line surge, tripped circuit breaker, or inadvertent switch operation. The operator's chief pilot agreed, noting that one of the items on the Before Landing Checklist requires the IGNITION SWITCH be placed in the ON position. The START SWITCH is located next to the IGNITION SWITCH. Inadvertently moving the START SWITCH to the ON position would cause the generator to disconnect and the GENERATOR OFF annunciator light to illuminate. He said this would be distracting to the pilot.
Probable cause:
An inadvertent stall during an instrument approach, which resulted in a loss of control. Contributing factors were the pilot's attention being diverted by an abnormal indication, conditions conducive to airframe icing, and the pilot's lack of total experience in the type of operation (icing conditions) in aircraft make/model.
Final Report:

Crash of a Cessna 421B Golden Eagle II in Steamboat Springs: 3 killed

Date & Time: Jan 4, 1992 at 1606 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N1974G
Flight Phase:
Flight Type:
Survivors:
Yes
Schedule:
Steamboat Springs - Minneapolis
MSN:
421B-0862
YOM:
1974
Crew on board:
1
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
8
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
3
Captain / Total flying hours:
4000
Aircraft flight hours:
2916
Circumstances:
While initiating a cross country flight, the eight place aircraft with nine persons aboard, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff. Ice had been seen on the wings and horizontal stabilizer, and icing conditions were present. The aircraft was over maximum gross weight by a minimum of 258 pounds, and the pilot held an expired student pilot certificate dated august 17, 1984. A copy of a private pilot certificate designating multiengine land and instrument was found in the pilot's personal belongings. Faa officials concluded that it was not a valid certificate. An application for a medical certificate dated may 30, 1991, indicated the pilot had 4,000 hours of flight time. This figure could not be verified. Just prior to takeoff the pilot was observed brushing snow off the wings. Following the accident granular ice was found on the aerodynamic surfaces. The pilot and two passengers were killed while six other occupants were injured.
Probable cause:
Airframe ice and the pilot's failure to remove it. Factors were: aircraft weight exceeded and lack of pilot certification.
Final Report:

Crash of a De Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter in Steamboat Springs: 2 killed

Date & Time: Dec 4, 1978 at 1945 LT
Operator:
Registration:
N25RM
Flight Phase:
Survivors:
Yes
Site:
Schedule:
Steamboat Springs - Denver
MSN:
387
YOM:
1973
Flight number:
JC217
Crew on board:
2
Crew fatalities:
Pax on board:
20
Pax fatalities:
Other fatalities:
Total fatalities:
2
Captain / Total flying hours:
7340
Captain / Total hours on type:
3904.00
Copilot / Total flying hours:
3816
Copilot / Total hours on type:
320
Aircraft flight hours:
15145
Circumstances:
The flight departed Steamboat Springs-Bob Adams Airport at 1855LT on a scheduled flight to Denver-Stapleton, carrying 20 passengers and a crew of two. After takeoff, while climbing, the crew encountered severe icing conditions and was cleared to return when the flight crashed into a mountain at the 10,530 feet level. Rescuers arrived on scene the following morning. A pilot and a passenger died while 20 other occupants were injured, most of them seriously. According to official observations, the weather at Steamboat Springs about 25 minutes before the accident consisted of an estimated 2,000 feet overcast ceiling and 6 miles visibility in freezing rain. According to surviving passengers, after the accident, snow was falling at the crash site and a strong wind was blowing and gusting from the west.
Probable cause:
The probable cause of the accident was severe icing and strong downdrafts associated with a mountain wave which combined to exceed the aircraft's capability to maintain flight. Contributing to the accident was the captain's decision to fly into probable icing conditions that exceeded the conditions authorised by company directive.
Final Report: