December 18, 2012, Payson, Ariz. – Piper PA-31-350 Navajo


The airplane was lost from radio and radar contact at about 1825 Mountain time during an on-demand cargo flight operated under FAR Part 135. Instrument conditions prevailed and an IFR clearance had been received. The solo commercial pilot received fatal injuries.

The flight was cleared to be at 10,000 feet msl 40 miles from PHX, its destination. Shortly after the airplane reached the assigned altitude, the pilot requested but was denied a lower altitude due to ATC minimum vectoring altitude limitations. Radio and radar contact was lost soon thereafter. The wreckage was located the next day at an approximate elevation of 7000 feet msl. Airmets for icing, IFR, mountain obscuration and moderate turbulence for the accident site about the accident time were issued several hours before the flight. Several Pireps of light-to-moderate icing for central Arizona were issued prior the accident.


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