NTSB Identification: DEN07LA124.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2007 in Englewood, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/27/2007
Aircraft: Cessna A185F, registration: N78011
Injuries: 3 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 said he used a normal takeoff technique and rotated 10 knots higher than the recommended POH (Pilot Operating Handbook) speed. He tried "to stay in what little ground effect that was possible...[but] climb performance began to degrade after a few moments." He decided not to continue towards the south, but turned to parallel an interstate highway. During the turn, he had to maneuver the airplane to avoid hitting an overhead sign. The maneuver "scrubbed off enough energy/airspeed" that the pilot "elected to make a precautionary landing" and avoid "possibly stalling the airplane." The pilot landed on an embankment adjacent to the E-470 toll road. During the landing roll, the left wing struck a pine tree near the lift strut, damaging the main spar. Documents submitted by the pilot indicated the airplane was at or near gross weight and was within center of gravity limits. Density altitude was estimated to be between 8,800 and 9,200 feet msl. The pilot later examined the engine and reported the compression on No. 2 cylinder was 40/80.

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


Low compression in number 2 cylinder, which reduced the airplane's climb capability. Contributing factors in this accident were the high density altitude conditions, and the tree.

Full narrative available

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