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Wow, newlyweds.   A United Pilot/CFI also - something catastrophic must have happened (maybe even Carbon monoxide...) such a shame...

-Don

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Wow, documenting their adventures and travels. Eloping then crashing the plane how sad! Departing to the east is really challenging in a single piston, maybe they where turbo-normalized? As mentioned above it could be CO poisoning. Here is an article on Telluride airport
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/december/flight-training-magazine/flying-carpet-mountain-airport

 

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I always avoid commenting on these things, but I will break my rule.

Ive landed at TEX about 20 times in my life. The last time was in February.

It seems strange they were flying east of the airport. Everybody departs to the west, down the canyon to lone cone. Then turns toward the east south of the ridge. The terrain rises very sharply to the east, I doubt my turbo plane could out climb it.

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2 hours ago, N201MKTurbo said:

I always avoid commenting on these things, but I will break my rule.

Ive landed at TEX about 20 times in my life. The last time was in February.

It seems strange they were flying east of the airport. Everybody departs to the west, down the canyon to lone cone. Then turns toward the east south of the ridge. The terrain rises very sharply to the east, I doubt my turbo plane could out climb it.

I was just in that area over the weekend.  I spent some time looking at TEX 3D in foreflight.  I can't for the life of me figure out why he went that way.  I think as soon as he started up the canyon, they were as good as dead.  

I don't think I'd go that way in my 600 horsepower turbo charged twin. 

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I don't have any experience at TEX but from their flight aware it looks like they departed two other times from there this week, both to the east.  However, they made a sharp right turn after takeoff on these other flights... Again, I don't know the area so I'm not sure of the normal departure procedure there.

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Flatlanders don't belong among the rocks.  I lost a friend to the rocks.  Flatlanders need training before they fly big rocks.  There are issues we just don't think about. RIP.

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I looked at their Flightaware tracks. They did make two successful departures to the east in the preceding days. You can see they made a few tight turns. I assume these were to gain altitude to make it through the passes. It doesn’t take much wind to screw up this strategy. The crash site was very close to the ridge line, they almost made it. I imagine when they figured they weren’t going to make it, they turned hard and stalled. So sad. 

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I hate to comment on this, but in case it's helpful to anyone else, the 12:35PM departure certainly gets my attention.  I fly in the mountains a lot and never after 11AM.  Honestly, I try to be over any big passes or technical flying way before that.  People have different experience levels and comforts; mine are quite conservative.  A late departure, a fast plane, box canyon potential, an especially difficult route of flight - all things that can add up to bad outcomes.

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2 hours ago, Matt Ward said:

I hate to comment on this, but in case it's helpful to anyone else, the 12:35PM departure certainly gets my attention.  I fly in the mountains a lot and never after 11AM.  Honestly, I try to be over any big passes or technical flying way before that.  People have different experience levels and comforts; mine are quite conservative.  A late departure, a fast plane, box canyon potential, an especially difficult route of flight - all things that can add up to bad outcomes.

I, of course, fly a 252 with a turbo that makes the mountains seem much smaller. But I follow the rule as @Matt Ward details, religiously. And if the winds at TEX precluded a west departure, I'd wait until we could depart west.

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Very sad.

The S35 Bonanza appears to be NA per the plane add from 6 months prior when it was sold to the pilot. Looking at the flightradar tracks https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n4444k there are some important differences between their final flight and the earlier scenic flight. Since there was literally only 9 minutes between when when the scenic flight radar tracks ends at landing and the departure back towards Florida begins its hard to even imagine there was enough time to re-fuel the aircraft.  I know I can't do it that fast! Perhaps it was just to pickup his new wife? But I suspect the final departure was significantly heavier.  

Note how slow their ground speed is on their final departure - mostly ~90 kts a bit below Vy in the A36 I am much more familiar with. In contrast, the earlier scenic flight they get up to 110 kts very quickly and mostly keep it above 100 kts in climb except at one point it dips to 90 kts in climb at 11K  but it gets back up to 125 kts in climb to 12.3K. But on this last flight, airspeed peaks out at 101 kts for one data point. Plus the pilot does not maneuver south  for lower terrain as done on the earlier scenic flight, but flying slower heads for the steeper terrain to the east. The climb just from 9K to 10K took a full 3min with speed in the low 90s the entire time. In contrast, just an hour earlier the same climb was done just a bit more than 2 min at and airspeed just under 110 kts.

Was the poorer climb performance an hour later due to weight increase? Flaps? Winds picking up/down drafts? 

From the crash photo it appears that flaps were at approach setting. We see speed bleed off from 74 kts to 63 kts as it descend from 11.4 to 11.3K with the final data point.  The  

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/10/beechcraft-s35-bonanza-n4444k-fatal.html

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13 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I, of course, fly a 252 with a turbo that makes the mountains seem much smaller. But I follow the rule as @Matt Ward details, religiously. And if the winds at TEX precluded a west departure, I'd wait until we could depart west.

I have taken off to the east. There is plenty of room to turn around. But depart to the west until above the peaks, or just fly a few miles south after passing the cones, and be over the flat lands (relatively speaking)

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11 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I, of course, fly a 252 with a turbo that makes the mountains seem much smaller. But I follow the rule as @Matt Ward details, religiously. And if the winds at TEX precluded a west departure, I'd wait until we could depart west.

When you say depart to the west, would that mean take off on 27 or would you take off on 9 and turn west?  Just curious what you mean, as I have no mountain experience at all and would be seeking qualified training before attempting it myself. 

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16 minutes ago, Nick Pilotte said:

When you say depart to the west, would that mean take off on 27 or would you take off on 9 and turn west?  Just curious what you mean, as I have no mountain experience at all and would be seeking qualified training before attempting it myself. 

I'd want to take off 27. Maybe after I have a bit more experience with the airport, runway 9 would be an option. But off the end of 27, I'd immediately have altitude and more the further west I go. 

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20 minutes ago, N201MKTurbo said:

I have taken off to the east. There is plenty of room to turn around. But depart to the west until above the peaks, or just fly a few miles south after passing the cones, and be over the flat lands (relatively speaking)

Maybe after a bit more experience with the airport for me...

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55 minutes ago, Nick Pilotte said:

When you say depart to the west, would that mean take off on 27 or would you take off on 9 and turn west?  Just curious what you mean, as I have no mountain experience at all and would be seeking qualified training before attempting it myself. 

 

35 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

Maybe after a bit more experience with the airport for me...

If you take off on 9, you will be heading towards the city. You have about 4-5 miles that you can fly east until you get to rising terrain. The canyon is 2-3 miles wide at that point. Plenty of room to make a right downwind turn and depart to the west.

I've done the approach into TEX once. It was just broken clouds, but if I had to go missed, I would be sweating....

I would stick to VFR...

 

BTW, back in the day, all my Intel friends had a big ski party every year. They rented a condo and put about 20 people in it. I went every year for quite a while.

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Ah, so they took off 27 but instead of flying the "normal" route west then south towards DRO and then east, they turned and headed back over the town towards the falls and Black Bear Pass. 

Having been over both Black Bear and Imogene in 4x4's I've often wanted to see that from the air. But I'd have to be at 15K or so, just to be comfortable. 

@N201MKTurbo I'd love to talk mountain flying over a couple of beers in Telluride one day. I'd have plenty to learn.

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12 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

Ah, so they took off 27 but instead of flying the "normal" route west then south towards DRO and then east, they turned and headed back over the town towards the falls and Black Bear Pass. 

Having been over both Black Bear and Imogene in 4x4's I've often wanted to see that from the air. But I'd have to be at 15K or so, just to be comfortable. 

@N201MKTurbo I'd love to talk mountain flying over a couple of beers in Telluride one day. I'd have plenty to learn.

As soon as they open it up to no masks, let's do it. Skiing starts in a month or so!

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1 hour ago, gsxrpilot said:

I'd want to take off 27. Maybe after I have a bit more experience with the airport, runway 9 would be an option. But off the end of 27, I'd immediately have altitude and more the further west I go. 

...which is what is detailed in the AFD and the DP is NA for 9.

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2 hours ago, kortopates said:

Very sad.

The S35 Bonanza appears to be NA per the plane add from 6 months prior when it was sold to the pilot. Looking at the flightradar tracks https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n4444k there are some important differences between their final flight and the earlier scenic flight. Since there was literally only 9 minutes between when when the scenic flight radar tracks ends at landing and the departure back towards Florida begins its hard to even imagine there was enough time to re-fuel the aircraft.  I know I can't do it that fast! Perhaps it was just to pickup his new wife? But I suspect the final departure was significantly heavier.  

Note how slow their ground speed is on their final departure - mostly ~90 kts a bit below Vy in the A36 I am much more familiar with. In contrast, the earlier scenic flight they get up to 110 kts very quickly and mostly keep it above 100 kts in climb except at one point it dips to 90 kts in climb at 11K  but it gets back up to 125 kts in climb to 12.3K. But on this last flight, airspeed peaks out at 101 kts for one data point. Plus the pilot does not maneuver south  for lower terrain as done on the earlier scenic flight, but flying slower heads for the steeper terrain to the east. The climb just from 9K to 10K took a full 3min with speed in the low 90s the entire time. In contrast, just an hour earlier the same climb was done just a bit more than 2 min at and airspeed just under 110 kts.

Was the poorer climb performance an hour later due to weight increase? Flaps? Winds picking up/down drafts? 

From the crash photo it appears that flaps were at approach setting. We see speed bleed off from 74 kts to 63 kts as it descend from 11.4 to 11.3K with the final data point.  The  

http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2020/10/beechcraft-s35-bonanza-n4444k-fatal.html

You can't compare FlightAware's groundspeed to any indicated airspeed in your plane, because it includes local wind and IAS does not. 

Maybe the 90 knot GS just indicates stronger headwinds than the previous flights?

Something to look at would be DA. Climbing from 9 to 10K at 300+ fpm, in a Bonanza, would indicate what rough DA? It wouldn't be much above 10K in my little C, but he has much more power available than I do, not near as much as the A36 that I've flown several times. 

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3 minutes ago, Hank said:

You can't compare FlightAware's groundspeed to any indicated airspeed in your plane, because it includes local wind and IAS does not. 

Maybe the 90 knot GS just indicates stronger headwinds than the previous flights?

Something to look at would be DA. Climbing from 9 to 10K at 300+ fpm, in a Bonanza, would indicate what rough DA? It wouldn't be much above 10K in my little C, but he has much more power available than I do, not near as much as the A36 that I've flown several times. 

Absolutely - but the two flights being compared were only an hour apart - shouldn't make a big difference without a frontal system moving through.

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3 hours ago, kortopates said:

Absolutely - but the two flights being compared were only an hour apart - shouldn't make a big difference without a frontal system moving through.

You don't need a front to have the winds change quite significantly in the mountains.   Where I live in Montana, it can be calm one hour and 20+ kt gusts the next.  

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12 hours ago, kpaul said:

You don't need a front to have the winds change quite significantly in the mountains.   Where I live in Montana, it can be calm one hour and 20+ kt gusts the next.  

This is so true!  Anyone who flies into Aspen much knows to be wary when the ATIS wind is "calm".  Be prepared for a tailwind on final.

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:50 PM, gsxrpilot said:

Ah, so they took off 27 but instead of flying the "normal" route west then south towards DRO and then east, they turned and headed back over the town towards the falls and Black Bear Pass. 

Having been over both Black Bear and Imogene in 4x4's I've often wanted to see that from the air. But I'd have to be at 15K or so, just to be comfortable. 

@N201MKTurbo I'd love to talk mountain flying over a couple of beers in Telluride one day. I'd have plenty to learn.

Soulds like a turbo Mooney fly-in in the making.  Would love to join.  I took off full fuel at 9am from TEX r/w 27 in June and was very glad for that turbo.  I cannot imagine going the other way in anything less than a Pilatus Porter .... 

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