Jan. 20, Albuquerque, N.M. / Cessna P210N Centurion


At 15:28 MST, a Cessna P210N broke up in flight and collided with terrain in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness Area, killing the pilot and two passengers. The airplane was at FL220 when the pilot told the Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center that he had sustained a dual vacuum pump failure and thought he had been in a spin. When told cloud bases in the area were between 12,000 and 13,000 feet agl, the pilot advised he was descending. The pilot was then told to contact approach control. When he did so, he advised that he thought he had just done a roll, and that he needed help. He also stated the airplane was equipped with an electrical artificial horizon and compass backups, but that they didnt agree. Shortly thereafter, radio and radar contact were lost. Witnesses reported seeing a wing break off from the airplane.


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