Hawker Beechcraft King Air C90A, Pagosa Springs, Colo., Oct. 4, 2007–The NTSB blamed the pilot for failing to maintain clearance from mountainous terrain for the Eagle Air Med King Air crash that killed all three on board. Contributing factors were inadequate preflight planning, improper in-flight planning and decision-making, the dark night and the controller’s failure to issue a safety alert to the pilot.
A minute before the King Air crashed west of the Continental Divide Trail at 11,900 feet, the pilot asked ATC about minimum altitudes for his route; the controller replied 15,000 to 15,300. The controller was aware of the airplane’s position, altitude, general route of flight and its proximity to terrain but did not give a safety alert. Weather was VMC but it was a dark night. The pilot had not filed a flight plan.