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N7068U accident description

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Tail numberN7068U
Accident dateAugust 25, 2007
Aircraft typeAdams Airborne Australia O
LocationTaos, NM
Near 36.341666 N, -104.733334 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On August 25, 2007, approximately 1940 mountain daylight time, an Adams' Airborne Australia Outback Wizard 3, N7068U, piloted by a non-certificated pilot, was destroyed when it struck a canyon wall while maneuvering on the west side of the Rio Pueblo Canyon, nine mile southwest of Taos, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was fatally injured. The local flight originated from the pilot's private airstrip near Taos at an undetermined time.

An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector went to the accident site. According to his report (FAA Form 8020-23), the airplane flew past some hikers in the Taos Gorge at low altitude and they videotaped the pilot waving at them. They said the airplane disappeared below the lip of the gorge, and then they heard the sound of impact. Several hikers climbed down the canyon wall and proceeded to the wreckage while others notified authorities. The accident site was at the end of County Road 110, approximately 300 feet above the canyon floor. The inspector said his examination of the airplane revealed it was either turning or spinning at the moment of impact. Flight control continuity was established and no systems anomalies were noted. The FAA inspector's report indicated the pilot had been warned by other pilots that it was not safe to fly in the canyon in a light aircraft. Another pilot said he noticed mountain wave-type winds in that area of the canyon, making turbulence likely. The accident pilot had flown in the canyon before, and was known to fly at low airspeeds and altitudes.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.