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N9864F accident description

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Crash location 32.976111°N, 105.738611°W
Nearest city Cloudcroft, NM
32.957313°N, 105.742486°W
1.3 miles away
Tail number N9864F
Accident date 01 Nov 2003
Aircraft type Cessna 172R
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On November 1, 2003, at approximately 1157 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172R, N9864F, operated by Hesston College, was destroyed following impact with terrain during climb near Cloudcroft, New Mexico. The commercial certificated flight instructor and private pilot receiving instruction were seriously injured, and a private pilot passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The mountain flying training flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Las Cruces, New Mexico, at approximately 1100 and was en route to Roswell, New Mexico.

The airplane was one of three airplanes participating in a mountain flying training program. According to the accident report submitted by the college, the flight was proceeding through a valley, en route to Roswell. The terrain "rose up unexpectedly." The valley that the accident airplane was in, rises approximately 3,000 feet in 5 statute miles. According to the college, the airplane was unable to climb fast enough to clear the rising terrain. The airplane turned sharp to the right but was unable to maintain terrain separation. The airplane made a forced landing in a heavily forested area in Lincoln National Forest. During the forced landing, the airplane impacted several trees, separating both wings and the left horizontal stabilizer. The airplane came to rest inverted.

The calculated density altitude at the accident site was approximately 10,380 feet. According to the Cessna Pilot Operating Handbook, the service ceiling of the C172R is 13,500. The maximum gross weight is 2,450 pounds and the actual weight of the accident airplane was calculated to be 2,424 pounds. Based on these conditions, the maximum rate of climb was 200 feet per minute.

NTSB Probable Cause

the dual student's failure to maintain clearance from the terrain. Also causal was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision. Low altitude flight and rising terrain are contributing factors.

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