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Last updated: 23 October 2021
Date:Wednesday 8 October 1997
Type:Silhouette image of generic C208 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Operator:Scenic Airlines
Registration: N12022
MSN: 208B0432
First flight: 1995
Total airframe hrs:2599
Engines: 1 Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A
Crew:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Passengers:Fatalities: 8 / Occupants: 8
Total:Fatalities: 9 / Occupants: 9
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Aircraft fate: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:33 km (20.6 mls) SW of Montrose, CO (   United States of America)
Crash site elevation: 3030 m (9941 feet) amsl
Phase: En route (ENR)
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Montrose County Airport, CO (MTJ/KMTJ), United States of America
Destination airport:Page Airport, AZ (PGA/KPGA), United States of America
The flight was an on-demand air charter on behalf of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). The Cessna Caravan was to carry out a return flight from Page (PGA) to Montrose County (MTJ). The return flight to Page was scheduled to depart Montrose at 17:00 on October 7, but was delayed to the next day because of bad weather en route. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed upon takeoff and a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was used. The flight took off at 07:05 from runway 17 of the Montrose Airport which is located at an elevation of 5,759 feet msl (1762 m). While climbing through an altitude of 10,000 feet, the target airplane's course changed from southwest to northwest, back to southwest, and then made a sharp turn to the right. At an altitude of 15,400 ft msl the airplane entered an uncontrolled descent. It descended in a steep flight path angle (about -65 degrees) at an approximate flat pitch attitude, and little indication of forward speed. The Caravan struck terrain among 60-foot-high pine trees at the 9,900 foot (3030 m) level on the Uncompahgre Plateau.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident was the pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed for undetermined reasons while maneuvering the airplane near maximum gross weight and aft cg in or near instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in a loss of control and entry into a stall/spin. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision-making and his failure to use proper stall/spin recovery techniques."

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Accident number: DCA98MA002
Download report: Summary report


Loss of control

» NTSB id DCA98MA002

Follow-up / safety actions

NTSB issued 20 Safety Recommendations

Show all...


photo of Cessna-208B-Grand-Caravan-N12022
accident date: 08-10-1997
type: Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
registration: N12022

This map shows the airport of departure and the intended destination of the flight. The line between the airports does not display the exact flight path.
Distance from Montrose County Airport, CO to Page Airport, AZ as the crow flies is 356 km (223 miles).
Accident location: Exact; as reported in the official accident report.

This information is not presented as the Flight Safety Foundation or the Aviation Safety Network’s opinion as to the cause of the accident. It is preliminary and is based on the facts as they are known at this time.
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