Meeteetse, WY, USA
Same as Factual Information
The student pilot reported that while on a solo cross-country flight she was using dead reckoning through the mountains. The pilot was unsure of her location and as she proceeded to the west, the mountainous terrain became steeper, which required her to ascend from 7,500 feet mean sea level (msl) to 8,500 feet msl. The student stated that being unable to clear the rising terrain in her flight path and unable to turn the airplane around, she elected to make a landing. During the approach a gust of wind hit the right wing, which resulted in the nose landing gear impacting the rocky terrain. The airplane nosed over and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the empennage. The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or the engine that would have precluded normal operation.
The student pilots inadequate preflight planning and failure to maintain clearance from rising terrain, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilots lack of situational awareness.
Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database
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