August 31, 2012, Rye, Colo., Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser


At about 0920 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged after impacting mountainous terrain. The private pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

According to law enforcement witnesses, the pilot and passenger arrived at their planned surveillance location and established radio contact with personnel on the ground. These personnel and other witnesses observed multiple passes of the airplane at about 500 to 1000 feet agl, followed by maneuvering of the airplane out of their sight. The airplane subsequently impacted heavily wooded terrain about two miles west of the surveillance area and at about 10,171 feet msl. A post-impact fire ensued.


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