Date & Time: Sep 24, 2001 at 0904 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain
Alamosa – Durango
United States of America
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Captain / Total hours on type:
Copilot / Total hours on type:
Aircraft flight hours:
The airplane was on a non-scheduled cargo flight which was projected to fly an approximate 240 degree course for 92 nm. The accident site was located on a heavily forested steep mountain side, 15 to 16 nm north of the airplane's projected course. The debris field began at an east-west ridge line, and progressed for 300 feet on a 010 degree track to the downed airplane. Examination of the airframe and engines revealed no evidence of preimpact discrepancies. The accident site was in an area where the Fall color of the aspens was at its peak. Additionally, it was an area where elk were sometimes observed.
The flight crews' intentional low altitude flight, and failure to maintain obstacle clearance.