NTSB Identification: SEA97LA093.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 26, 1997 in RAWLINS, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6121J
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot attempted a takeoff in high density altitude conditions, and encountered downdrafts during the initial climb. Because it became apparent that the aircraft would not outclimb the terrain, the pilot elected to make an emergency landing on the rough/uneven ground. Upon touchdown, both main gear were torn from the wings. The pilot later stated that, although he had checked the weight and balance, he had not calculated the expected rate of climb under the conditions. The expected rate of climb was later determined to be approximately 250 feet per minute. The aircraft came to rest about one mile from the end of the runway, on terrain that was about 150 to 200 feet higher than the runway surface.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning. Factors include high density altitude, downdrafts, and rough/uneven terrain in the area where the pilot attempted the emergency landing.

Full narrative available

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