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N4663V accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Dulce, NM
36.933621°N, 106.998926°W
Tail number N4663V
Accident date 16 Mar 1994
Aircraft type Cessna 172RG
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report


On March 16, 1994, at 1443 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172RG, N4663V, collided with rising terrain during initial climb following takeoff from Dulce Airport, Dulce, New Mexico. The four persons on board received fatal injuries and the aircraft was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for this business flight which was proceeding to Angel Fire, New Mexico.

According to witness information, the flight originated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, earlier in the day and the persons on board were met by a local person upon arrival. They conducted some business, had lunch, and were dropped at the Dulce Airport by their local business contact. This person did not stay at the airport and no witnesses to the departure were found.

The knowledge that an accident had occurred started as a report of a fire on the hillside south of the airport. A police officer for the Jicarilla Apache Police Department was responding to that when she found two burned males walking down a road towards the airport. They stated that they had been involved in a plane crash and that two persons were still in the aircraft. The police officer took the two victims to the local medical clinic and then proceeded to the accident site accompanied by the New Mexico State Police. The still burning aircraft contained the bodies of the other two occupants and the fire was extinguished by local fire units. The two occupants who had been taken to the clinic later expired.


The private pilot, was a businessman from San Jose, California, and was occupying the left front seat of the aircraft. He had rented the aircraft through a flying club. No logbooks were recovered from the wreckage and the investigation provided little flight background on this individual. No evidence was found concerning his familiarity with the local area nor was any evidence of mountain training or experience located.

A commercial rated pilot occupied the right front seat of the aircraft. No logbooks were located for this individual, and according to available information, he had accumulated approximately 2,000 hours of flight time. No information was found concerning his familiarity with the local area, nor his training or experience in mountain flying.

The investigation could not determine which of the above persons was flying the aircraft at the time of the accident. Both had access to a full set of controls.


Calculated performance and weight and balance data for this flight is attached. The calculations indicate the aircraft could not have outclimbed the terrain in the direction that the takeoff was performed.


The accident site was tree covered mountainous terrain with an up slope of approximately 20 degrees on a track of 115 degrees. The site witness marks started with splintered trees and extended up the slope for 75 feet. Several branches were found with clean diagonal cuts approximately one foot apart. The right wing assembly was located 50 feet from the beginning of the witness marks. The fuselage area was destroyed by fire from the forward part of the empennage to the engine firewall. (See attached wreckage diagram.)

An examination of the engine was conducted and no evidence was found of a preimpact failure or malfunction.

Flight control continuity could not be confirmed due to impact and fire damage.


According to the New Mexico Medical Examiner's Office, all occupants died as a result of thermal injuries. Toxicological tests are attached.


The wreckage was released to Mr. D. K. Jason, President, D. K. Jason and Associates on June 7, 1994. No parts were retained.

NTSB Probable Cause


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