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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 165854
Last updated: 18 November 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic GLAS model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Glasair III
Registration: N911EX
C/n / msn: 3313
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Mountainous terrain, 20 miles SE of Young, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Hobbs, NM (KHOB)
Destination airport:Mesa, AZ (KFFZ)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The noninstrument-rated private pilot was conducting a personal cross-country flight; no records were found indicating that the pilot obtained an official weather briefing†before departing on the flight. During the flight, the pilot contacted an air route traffic control center (ARTCC) and stated that he was trapped underneath a cloud layer in mountainous terrain and that the visibility was deteriorating. He then declared an emergency. In response to the ARTCC controller, the pilot provided the airplaneís GPS position coordinates. Subsequently, the controller was unable to make further direct contact with the pilot due to the mountainous terrain and initiated a relayed conversation using pilots of nearby high-flying aircraft in an attempt to direct the pilot to the nearest airport reporting visual meteorological conditions (VMC).
During the ensuing conversation, the ARTCC controller identified one airport with VMC, but the pilot stated he could not get there without help, presumably due to intervening instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). The closest airport to the accident airplane†reported wind 240†degrees at 18 knots gusting to 24 knots, visibility 3/4 mile in snow, and ceilings at 100 ft. An airplane attempting an instrument approach to that airport executed a missed approach and left the area, and this was communicated to the accident pilot. While the controller was checking for other reachable airports, all contact with the pilot was lost.
The airplane was found in mountainous terrain directly below the pilotís first position report, and examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted terrain in a steep descent. The engine and propeller examinations revealed signs consistent with the engine producing power at the time of impact. Because the wreckage was found near the pilotís first position report, it is likely that the pilot loitered in a small geographic area underneath the clouds before entering IMC. He subsequently lost visual reference and was unable to maintain airplane control.

Probable Cause: The noninstrument-rated pilotís decision to enter instrument meteorological conditions, which resulted in the loss of airplane control.




Photo of N911EX courtesy

Greenville - Donaldson Field (GDC / GYH)
26 April 2003; (c) Derek Linder

Revision history:

29-Apr-2014 03:16 Geno Added
06-May-2014 21:29 Geno Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Feb-2017 07:41 PiperOnslaught Updated [Source, Narrative]
29-Nov-2017 14:03 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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