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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 140211
Last updated: 23 December 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic TRIN model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Socata TB21 Trinidad TC
Registration: N25153
C/n / msn: 968
Fatalities:Fatalities: 4 / Occupants: 4
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:About 1.5 miles from Silverton, CO -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Durango, CO (00C)
Destination airport:Aspen, CO (ASE)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The non-instrument-rated pilot departed for his destination with active weather advisories for his route of flight for instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions and mountain obscuration due to clouds, precipitation, and mist. After departure, the pilot attempted to remain in visual flight rules (VFR) flight by climbing above 18,000 feet mean sea level and proceeding toward his destination. When queried by an air traffic controller, the pilot stated that he could not descend due to weather. In addition, he stated that he was not instrument rated or qualified. No further transmissions were made by the pilot. Witnesses near the accident site reported low clouds with light snow flurries. On-site wreckage distribution was consistent with an in-flight breakup. Further, an examination of the wreckage revealed signatures on the airplane’s right wing consistent with it failing in overload in the upward direction and signatures on the empennage and tail section consistent with their failure in overload in the downward direction, indicating the failures were due to loads that exceeded the airplane’s structural limits. A weather study revealed the potential for clouds at the pilot’s cruising altitude, which increased the potential for VFR flight into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Therefore, it is likely that the pilot encountered IMC, became spatially disoriented, and then maneuvered the airplane in a manner that exceeded the airplane’s structural limits while trying to return to level flight and avoid mountainous terrain.
Probable Cause: The non-instrument-rated pilot’s decision to embark on a flight through forecasted instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), and his subsequent flight into IMC, which resulted in the pilot’s spatial disorientation and subsequent maneuvering of the airplane in a manner that exceeded the airplane’s structural limits.



Revision history:

03-Dec-2011 20:07 RobertMB Added
03-Dec-2011 20:08 RobertMB Updated
04-Dec-2011 01:09 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
04-Dec-2011 03:00 Geno Updated [Source]
04-Dec-2011 09:57 gerard57 Updated [Total occupants, Source, Narrative]
04-Dec-2011 16:57 RobertMB Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
15-Dec-2011 12:51 Geno Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 17:39 ASN Update Bot Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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