Date & Time: Mar 31, 1979 at 1640 LT
Type of aircraft:
Piper PA-31-310 Navajo
Ascona - Saarbrücken
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
Aircraft flight hours:
The twin engine airplane departed Ascona Airfield at 1628LT on a private flight to Saarbrücken, carrying two passengers and two pilots. Despite marginal weather conditions, the crew decided to file a VFR flight plan. Twelve minutes later, following a normal climb, the crew leveled off at 11,000 feet. While cruising in clouds, the crew failed to realize his altitude was insufficient when the right wing struck the west face of Mt Fleckistock (3,417 meters high) located to the west of Wassen, Uri. Out of control, the airplane descended until it crashed in a snow covered area. The wreckage was found two days later, on April 2. The aircraft was destroyed and tree dead bodies were found. The body of a pilot was never found.
The crew was flying at an altitude that failed to provide a sufficient vertical separation with the upper limit of the clouds and failed to see and avoid the mountains while flying under VFR mode in clouds.