NTSB Identification: DEN08LA079.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, April 17, 2008 in Reserve, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N6260J
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor.

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

Takeoff was from runway 24. The wind was from 210 degrees at 10 to 12 knots. The pilot said that after the airplane lifted off and climbed above tree level, he encountered a "severe wind gust (right quartering tail wind) from approximately 040 degrees [of] at least 20+ knots." He said the airplane lost lift and was blown off runway centerline. He tried to "stabilize the [air]plane but with [the] loss of lift, [it] impacted [the] ground hard, [with the] nose and left wing, [and] flipped [over]." The airplane caught fire and was totally consumed. Airport elevation is 6,360 feet msl. Runway 06-24 is 4,800 feet long and 50 feet wide, and made of asphalt. Runway 24 has a 1.9 per cent uphill gradient. The pilot estimated his useful load to be 898 pounds and that the airplane weighed approximately 2,430 pounds. Gross weight is 2,550 pounds and empty weight is 1,540 pounds. According to the U.S. Forest Service ranger station, located approximately 5 miles east of the airport, the temperature was 53 degrees F. FAA calculated the density altitude to be between 6,900 and 7,300 feet. The pilot had been certificated for about six weeks, and had minimal high density altitude experience.

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

The pilot's loss of aircraft control, resulting in an inadvertent stall. Contributing factors in this accident were the sudden windshift to a gusting tailwind, an uphill runway, high density altitude, the pilot's failure to use all available runwayt, and his lack of experience in high altitude airport operations.

Full narrative available

Index for Apr2008 | Index of months