DEN99LA170
DEN99LA170

On September 25, 1999, at 1715 mountain daylight time, impact and postimpact fire destroyed a Cessna 172, N9103B, when it collided with terrain during an emergency landing after encountering heavy downdrafts following takeoff from Panguitch, Utah. The private pilot and her two passengers were not injured. The flight was operating under Title 14 CFR Part 91 and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for this cross-country flight to Cedar City, Utah. The flight originated from Panguitch.

According to the pilot, she was doing a circular climb to get over terrain and a downdraft caused the aircraft to enter a descent. She said she attempted to land in a field but, during the landing roll, the nose wheel struck a rock and broke off. The aircraft then nosed over caught fire.

The pilot said the accident site was approximately 7,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) and the temperature at Panguitch was 76 degrees Fahrenheit. (F). The Panguitch airport elevation was 6,757 feet msl. Standard temperature at 7,000 feet msl, according to a chart provided in the flight manual, was 35 degrees F. Thus the temperature was 40 degrees above standard, creating a density altitude of 9,700 feet. According to the performance charts in the Pilot's operating Handbook, the calculated maximum rate of climb was 150 feet- per-minute based on a temperature of 76 degrees F, and an aircraft weight of 2, 047 pounds.

At the time of the accident, Cedar City, located approximately 30 miles to the west, was 10 miles visibility with clear skies, a temperature of 82.4 degrees F, and winds from 230 degrees at 12 knots with gusts to 19 knots.

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