NTSB Identification: CEN14LA261
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 28, 2014 in Boulder, CO
Aircraft: PIPER PA-25-235, registration: N8808L
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 28, 2014, about 1500 mountain daylight time, a Piper model PA-25-235 airplane, N8808L, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Boulder, Colorado. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Soaring Society of Boulder under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local glider aero-tow flight that departed Boulder Municipal Airport (BDU), Boulder, Colorado, about 1430.
The pilot reported that the purpose of the accident flight was to aero-tow a glider to 11,000 feet mean sea level (msl) before returning to the departure airport. He stated that the aero-tow and glider release were uneventful. However, as the airplane was returning to BDU the engine began to run intermittently as the airplane crossed over the foothills southwest of the airport. The engine eventually lost total power around 10,000 feet msl. The pilot reported that he did not attempt to restart the engine following the loss of engine power. He initially thought that the airplane had sufficient altitude to safely glide to the airport, but it ultimately descended to altitude that required an off-airport landing. He decided to land on a nearby soccer field; however, as he approached the field he realized that there were power lines situated alongside the road that bordered the soccer field. The airplane landing gear collided with a chain-link fence as he maneuvered the airplane below the power lines. After the landing gear became entangled with the fence, the airplane collided with the road before coming to a stop in a drainage ditch. The right wing sustained substantial damage during the collision with the fence and terrain.
A postaccident investigation was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector with the Denver Flight Standards District Office. The FAA inspector reported that his visual examination of the airplane's single fuel tank established that it was undamaged and void of any fuel.
At 1456, the BDU weather observing system reported: calm wind, 10 miles visibility, clear sky conditions, temperature 30 degrees Celsius, dew point 5 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.10 inches-of-mercury.
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