June 17, 2010, Ruidoso, N.M., Cessna T310R


At about 0952 Mountain time the airplane was destroyed upon impacting terrain while on final approach for landing. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured; two passengers sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

Two line service personnel first spotted the airplane when it was approximately three miles out. They observed the airplane began a “gradual” descent followed by a “rapid” descent. The more senior of the two estimated that the airplane was descending about 60 degrees nose-down when it went out of sight. Moments later dust was observed rising in the area. There were no distress calls from the airplane.

According to one of the two surviving passengers, shortly before the accident the wings were rocking like the airplane was being tossed around by wind. Ground scars were consistent with a left-wing and nose-low impact attitude, followed by a cartwheel in the direction of the runway. A post-crash fire ensued. Reported weather included wind from 050 degrees at five knots, 10 statute miles visibility and a temperature of 77 deg. F.


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