Search conducted by Civil Air Patrol and Lake, Eagle County Ground Crews. ELT and other clues indicated the Leadville Area. Aircraft was located in Pitkin County (within yards of the county line), it was confirmed that there were no survivers. Recovery effort was delayed due to weather conditions, and was carried out by Pitkin County SO, and Mountain Rescue Aspen, over the next couple of months.
THE PLT RENTED N8912N TO TRANSPORT FIVE PASSENGERS TO COLORADO FOR A SINGING
COMPETITION. THE PASSENGERS HAD NOT MADE ALTERNATE TRAVEL PLANS. THE PLT
RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING, WHICH INDICATED LOW CLOUD CEILINGS, MODERATE
TURBULENCE AND ICING ALONG HIS PLANNED ROUTE. HE FILED 10,500 FT AS HIS CRUISING ALT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A 13,700 FT HIGH MOUNTAIN AT ABOUT THE 12,000 FT LEVEL. WEATHER AT THE ACCIDENT SITE WAS IFR. THE PLT WAS NOT INSTRUMENT RATED.
VFR FLIGHT INTO INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC) BY THE PILOT, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SUFFICIENT ALTITUDE AND CLEARANCE FROM MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE TERRAIN AND WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE PILOT'S OVERCONFIDENCE IN HIS PERSONAL ABILITY, HIS PERCEIVED PRESSURE TO COMPLETE THE FLIGHT, AND HIS LACK OF INSTRUMENT EXPERIENCE.