On January 12, 1996, approximately 1230 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N2132J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Collbran, Colorado. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured, but another passenger sustained a minor injury. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91, and a company VFR flight plan was filed. The airplane operated by Larry G. Kempton, Jr., d/b/a Kempton Air Service Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, one of the passengers said he wanted to take a flight lesson and take some aerial photographs. They departed and flew to the Grand Mesa, about 25 miles east of Grand Junction. The airplane was at 10,000 feet msl (mean sea level) when the pilot crossed a ridge and entered the Courier Lake Canyon. He said he encountered "a very fast rate of descent" and the airplane descended below the tree tops bordering the frozen lake. The pilot decided the airplane would not clear the trees ahead and elected to land on the lake. The airplane slid across the surface and up the opposite embankment, shearing off the right landing gear.