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N49S accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 44.080278°N, 115.011389°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Wells, NV
41.111589°N, 114.964490°W
205.1 miles away
Tail number N49S
Accident date 22 Sep 2011
Aircraft type Bunker RLV-1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 22, 2011, about 0830 Pacific daylight time, a Bunker RLV-1 experimental amateur built airplane, N49S, was substantially damaged following an impact with terrain while maneuvering about five miles southwest of the Wells Municipal Airport (LWL), Wells, Nevada. The certified private pilot sustained serious injuries and the passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, which was conducted in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed LWL about 0800.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot reported that his passenger wanted to take pictures of some nearby mountains, which were located about 5 miles southwest of LWL. The pilot stated that as the airplane approached the rolling hills near the higher mountains he made a right turn into a draw, but the airplane was then unable to climb above the rising terrain, which consisted of rolling hills populated with cedar trees. The pilot added that at this point he was unable to turn around due to higher terrain on both sides of the airplane. The pilot revealed that the airplane subsequently impacted a cedar tree about 15 feet high, and as the airplane descended to the ground it impacted at least two more trees before coming to rest upright substantially damaging the wings and fuselage. The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented had he gained altitude prior to entering the area of rising terrain. The pilot reported that there were no anomalies with the airplane prior to or during the flight.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot did not maintain clearance from terrain while maneuvering. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate in-flight planning.

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