On December 3, 2011, a Socata TB21, N25153, crashed near Silverton, Colorado. Tragically, the pilot, Stephen Osborne, of Durango, CO, and all three passengers were fatally injured. The flight had departed the Animas Air Park Airport (00C), Durango, Colorado, that afternoon and was en route to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport (ASE), Aspen, Colorado for a bank holiday party. Passengers Jan Osborne, Tyler Black and Gina Ryck (aka Jenna Rich) worked for Alpine Bank.
According to initial air traffic control (ATC) recordings, the pilot contacted ATC while at 20,000 feet and 12 miles southeast of Telluride, Colorado. The pilot requested visual flight rules (VFR) flight following to Aspen (ASE), and reported that he could not descend below his altitude and maintain VFR. Moments later, the airplane disappeared from radar and further contact was lost. The aircraft crashed into terrain near Silverton Colorado. Witnesses described the weather as snowing with poor visibility. Reports indicate the pilot was not licensed to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC).
The NTSB has begun an investigation to determine the cause of this terrible crash. Flying in the mountains and winter operations present many unique safety issues for general aviation aircraft, pilots and the passengers they fly. The pilot-lawyers at Kreindler & Kreindler have handled numerous similar cases and are available to answer any questions you may have about this terrible and unfortunate accident. If you have any questions concerning this accident please contact us.