Accident Piper PA-34-200T N8231D, Friday 5 January 2007
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Date:Friday 5 January 2007
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA34 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-34-200T
Registration: N8231D
MSN: 34-8070260
Year of manufacture:1980
Total airframe hrs:3826 hours
Engine model:Teledyne Continental TSIO-360-EB
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Manzanola, CO -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Pueblo, CO (PUB)
Destination airport:Tyler, TX (TYR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Approximately 15 minutes after departure, the airplane encountered instrument meteorological conditions (IMC); and subsequently, the non-instrument rated private pilot lost control of the airplane and impacted snow-covered terrain. Prior to the cross-country flight, the pilot obtained three standard weather briefings, of which two were obtained on the previous day and one on the morning of the accident. The briefings included instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions along the planned route of flight. According to the briefing conversation and a statement from a friend, the pilot intended to land the airplane prior to his destination if the weather conditions were not visual flight rules (VFR). The pilot would then "wait it out" until the weather conditions improved. In addition, the pilot informed the weather briefer that "I have to be in Houston [Texas] by 7 o'clock" on the day of the accident. According to radar data, the airplane departed from the airport and was traveling on a southeasterly heading. For the first 15 minutes of the flight, the airplane maintained a level altitude and a consistent heading. For the last minute of the flight, the airplane entered a descent of 2,500 feet per minute, a climb of 3,000 fpm, and a 1,300 fpm descent, and the airplane's heading varied in several degrees. The airplane impacted the terrain in a right wing low, nose-down attitude. No anomalies were noted with the airframe and engines.

Probable Cause: the pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane after an inadvertent encounter with instrument meteorological conditions resulting in the subsequent impact with terrain. Contributing factors were the pilot's inadequate preflight planning, self-induced pressure to conduct the flight, and poor judgment.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: DEN07FA045
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



History of this aircraft

Other occurrences involving this aircraft

30 May 1987 N8231D Meditran 0 Plymouth, IN sub


Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
04-Dec-2017 18:27 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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