The Purpose Of The Flight Was To Take Some Friends’ Children Flying In The Local Area

Location: Silt, CO Accident Number: CEN21LA119
Date & Time: January 31, 2021, 14:20 Local Registration: N4376Q
Aircraft: Cessna 172 Injuries: 3 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On January 31, 2021, about 1420 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172, N4376Q, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Silt, Colorado. The pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The airplane had departed the Rifle airport (RIL) about 1400 for a local visual flight rules flight. According to a family member, the purpose of the flight was to take some friends’ children flying in the local area. During the accident flight, a minor child was in the right front seat and the mother was in the left rear seat. The family member stated that while expecting the airplane to return for landing, he received a call from the mother stating that they had crashed.

The main wreckage was located about 3 miles east of RIL in an area of rising terrain. The first piece of debris was located about 25 ft past a set of high-tension transmission wires that are estimated to be about 100ft tall and extended about 670 ft along a heading about 160°. About 75 ft past the initial piece of debris, the upper 2ft of vertical stabilizer and rudder was located. The initial ground scar was located about 475 ft beyond the transmission wires and consisted of a damaged tree and sheet metal consistent with the color of the airplane. The main wreckage came to rest inverted about 600 ft from the transmission wires. The wings separated from the fuselage at the lower lift strut attach points.

During a post-accident examination, flight control continuity was established to the ailerons, elevators and rudder and the flaps were found in the retracted position. Rotational continuity was established throughout the engine and valve train. All cylinders were inspected with a borescope with no anomalies noted.

A video recording device and GPS were located on-scene and are being examined for possible additional evidence.