On The Third Contact Attempt, The Pilot Indicated That “He Had A Problem”.

Location: Albany, WY Accident Number: WPR23FA188
Date & Time: May 14, 2023, 11:35 Local Registration: N665B
Aircraft: Cessna T182T Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On May 14, 2023, about 1135 mountain daylight time, a Cessna T182T, N665B, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Albany, Wyoming. The pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a report filed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC), The pilot departed Fort Collins/Loveland Regional Airport (FNL), Loveland, Colorado on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, destined for Wyoming Regional Airport (RKS), Rock Springs, Wyoming. During the flight, the pilot contacted Denver Center and reported that he was at 12,000 ft mean sea level (msl). The controller provided a local altimeter setting and cleared the pilot to climb to 13,000 ft msl. About 6 minute later the pilot reported “mild” ice. The controller queried the pilot if they wanted a different altitude.

About 17 minutes after reporting icing, the airplane began a rapid descent. The controller issued a safety alert twice with no response. On the third contact attempt, the pilot indicated that “he had a problem”. The controller advised the pilot that his transmissions were broken and queried if they could offer a different heading or lower altitude before their data block disappeared. There was no further communication with the pilot.

Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data, provided by the FAA, revealed the pilot departed the airport on a flight track consistent with the Yellowstone Four Departure procedure with the Laramie transition. The airplane crossed over the Laramie very high frequency omnidirectional range (VOR) at 11:23 and about 8 minutes later, while along Victor Airway V-4, the airplane turned right, off course about 45°, and began to descend. About one minute later, the airplane entered a continuous right turn and with an increased descent rate until the end of the recorded data. The last data point captured the airplane at 11:34 on a heading of 191° Magnetic, and about 970 ft above ground level. 

The airplane impacted open, sparsely vegetated terrain at an elevation of 8082 ft msl. All major components of the airplane remained attached, except for one propeller blade. All propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouges and chord-wise striations. 

The airplane was recovered to a secured facility for further examination.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov