Cessna 425 Conquest I, Belgrade, Mont., Nov. 29, 2005–The NTSB blamed the accident on the pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed, which resulted in an inadvertent stall. Factors were dark night conditions, clouds, icing conditions, low visibility and snow. The pilot was killed and the aircraft was destroyed when it crashed 2.8 nm northeast of Gallatin Field Airport (BZN).
The airplane hit the ground in a vertical descent and flat attitude; it came to rest upright on its fuselage and wings. Mixed ice was found on the leading edges of both wings. Pilots making the same approach before the accident reported mixed icing during descent and final approach.
As the Conquest approached BZN, weather was deteriorating from 10 miles visibility and broken clouds at 7,000 feet to three miles, overcast at 2,300 at the time of the accident, and later to visibility one-and-three-quarter miles with light snow and mist, overcast at 1,600 feet. The pilot’s logbook showed no indication of night flying in the last six months.