Aircraft: Piper Super Cruiser. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Rye, Colo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: At the time of the accident, the pilot, 64, had logged more than 900 hours, including about 140 hours in the Super Cruiser. The pilot’s girlfriend said he flew frequently in the mountainous areas of Colorado, including near the Lake Isabel area where the accident occurred.
While maneuvering in mountainous terrain in high density altitude, the airplane crashed into a ridge.
An evaluation of the terrain near the accident site and the performance capabilities of the airplane indicated that the pilot selected a route of flight toward rising terrain that the airplane could not climb sufficiently quickly to avoid.
Probable cause: The pilot’s selection of a flight path toward rising terrain that exceeded the climb capability of the airplane.
NTSB Identification: CEN12FA594
This August 2012 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.