August 7, 2006, Salida, Colo./Piper PA-28R-201


At approximately 1030 Mountain time, the airplane was destroyed when it collided with mountainous terrain during a forced landing. The Airline Transport pilot was fatally injured; a non-pilot passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The accident site was situated in a bowl at an elevation of 12,020 feet msl and surrounded by mountain peaks as high as 14,000 feet. Campers in the area reported hearing an airplane proceed up the canyon. A construction worker near the accident site observed a low-flying airplane that failed to emerge from the valley. When he went to investigate, he discovered the wreckage with the survivor sitting outside the airplane.

Preliminary investigation indicates the airplane impacted rocky terrain inverted and skidded to a halt. The landing gear was down and the flaps were up.


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