Apr. 23, Ruidoso, N.M. / Smith Aerostar 601P


At 10:22 MDT, the pilot and passenger in an Aerostar 601P died when the aircraft crashed near Sierra Blanca Regional Airport. IMC prevailed along the intended route of flight, and the pilot departed VFR with the intent of activating a filed IFR flight plan after takeoff. Just after liftoff, a witness observed the airplane make an immediate steep turn. The airplane crashed 2.5 nm southeast of the airport.


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