Aircraft: Cessna 182. Injuries: 1 Fatal. Location: Bondurant, Wyo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: There was no evidence that the pilot obtained a weather briefing for the flight. Both VFR and IFR conditions prevailed throughout the area and AIRMETs for instrument meteorological conditions, mountain obscuration, and moderate icing conditions were in effect throughout the area about the time of the accident. The non-instrument-rated pilot departed on a VFR cross-county flight.
Review of recorded radar data provided by the FAA and recovered GPS data depicted the flight departing and proceeding on a southeasterly course, then turning left to an easterly heading toward the intended destination. The last recorded radar return was about 1.5 miles northwest of the accident site.
Throughout this timeframe, recorded GPS altitudes varied between 8,000 and 12,300 feet, however, an ascent to 13,450 feet MSL was recorded just before the end of recorded GPS data, about 22 miles west of the accident site.
The airplane crashed in trees and mountainous terrain on a southwesterly heading just below the top of a ridge line at an altitude of about 10,030 feet MSL.
Based on the wreckage, investigators determined that it is likely that the pilot did not maintain sufficient altitude above the mountainous terrain while attempting to maneuver around the instrument meteorological conditions at the time of the accident.
Probable cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering around weather.
NTSB Identification: WPR13FA053
This November 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.