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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 176619
Last updated: 23 January 2022
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Type:Silhouette image of generic WACF model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Waco UPF-7
Owner/operator:Upf-7 Llc
Registration: N29943
MSN: 5441
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Cerro Summit, east of Montrose Regional Airport (KMTJ), Montrose, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Montrose, CO (MTJ)
Destination airport:Elbert, CO (CO15)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial pilot was conducting a cross-country flight in the single-engine vintage airplane. The flight originated from an airport with an elevation of 5,758 ft mean sea level (msl). The pilot reported that the surface wind at the airport was 15 knots at takeoff. He added that the airplane reached an altitude of 8,500 ft msl, which he thought was sufficient to fly over the high, mountainous terrain. However, as the airplane neared higher terrain, it encountered a downdraft. The airplane's climb rate was not sufficient to overcome the effects of the downdraft, and the valley was too narrow to complete a turn to lower ground; the airplane subsequently impacted terrain.
The pilot reported that it would have been safer if he had used better judgment and delayed approaching the higher terrain until he had climbed the airplane to more than 1,000 ft above the ground elevation. Additionally, given the 15-knot surface wind reported at the departure airport, it is likely that the wind aloft at 9,000 ft near the mountain pass where the accident occurred was much stronger. The pilot should have attained an altitude of 2,000 ft or more to ensure that the airplane had sufficient altitude to clear the pass's highest terrain.
Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to attain suitable altitude while flying over high mountainous terrain in downdraft conditions.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

03-Jun-2015 17:37 Geno Added
03-Jun-2015 21:20 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Damage, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
01-Dec-2017 13:43 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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