December 3, 2011, Silverton, Colo., Socata TB21 Turbocharged Trinidad


The airplane collided with terrain at about 1335 Mountain time. The non-instrument-rated private pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. Instrument conditions prevailed; no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot contacted ATC while at 20,000 feet to request flight following and reported he could not descend and maintain VFR. Moments later, the airplane disappeared from radar and contact with the pilot was lost. There were no reported distress calls from the pilot.

Witnesses described local weather as snowing with poor visibility. One witness heard the airplane very clearly directly above him and said it sounded like the airplane was doing aerobatics or tricks, and that it sounded like the pilot was having a hard time figuring out where he was going. The airplane came to rest on snow-covered mountainous terrain. The main wreckage was spread over an area estimated to be 1200 by 200 feet.


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