Pendleton Mountain, CO Civil Air Patrol Pilot Dies in Crash of CAP 182R During Search for Missing Hiker, Aug 1988
In early August, 1988, Chicago Sportswriter Keith Reinhardt, a novice and somewhat fearful hiker, attempted to climb the steep and heavily wooded slope of Pendleton Mountain, north of Silver Plume Colorado. He left in the late afternoon for a climb that would take an experienced hiker several hours. He had no map, compass or flashlight, nor extra clothing. He was wearing blue jeans, a cotton shirt, and tennis shoes. He took only a can of soda. Reinhardt failed to return that evening.
Starting the next afternoon, rescuers searched for seven days. Due to the rugged
terrain, and sizeable search area, other Mountain Rescue Association volunteers
from throughout the western United States were recruited. In addition, six helicopters, and two fixed-wing aircraft from the Civil Air Patrol, participated. On August 12, 1988, the fifth day of the search, a Civil Air Patrol Cessna 182R fixed wing aircraft participated in the search, with pilot Terrence Craig “Terry” Leadens and spotter Don Drobny. Due to a large number of search and rescue helicopters operating that day, the SAR (search and rescue) Incident Command requested the fixed-wing pilot to maintain an altitude above 13,000 feet MSL.
For unknown reasons, the pilot descended well below the 13,000-foot level during his flight. It is estimated that he was flying at 11,000 feet when…
The passenger reported that the pilot said ‘I don’t like the feel of this.’ A paramedic said the passenger also related that they had ‘hit a downdraft.’ A helicopter pilot flying in the area said that the winds were not conducive for fixed wing flights, especially in the trenches. The broken trees indicated a descent angle of 45 degrees. The distance from the first tree strike to the main wreckage was 62 feet. The aircraft came to a rest on its nose. The terrain elevation was about 10,600 feet.
When the Civil Air Patrol Cessna failed to make its hourly radio check-in, a search began. Thanks to the skill of KCNC-TV helicopter pilot Mike Silva, the crash site was located within minutes. Despite Silva’s report that “the crash site looks catastrophic,” rescuers were immediately flown to the site by Army Chinook helicopter, where they rescued the passenger, who survived the crash despite numerous serious injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Weather evaluation – Inadequate - pilot in command
Airspeed – Inadequate - pilot in command
Altitude – Inadequate - pilot in command
National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Final Report - https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20001...
Terrence Craig “Terry” Leadens Find A Grave site - https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/19006699/terrence-craig-leadens