DEN02LA073
DEN02LA073

On July 13, 2002, at 2158 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N4690R, was substantially damaged when the aircraft impacted terrain during climb near Tooele Valley-Bolinder Field, Tooele, Utah. The private pilot and two passengers on board were not injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Tooele, and was en route to Salt Lake City Municipal 2 Airport, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The pilot told a FAA inspector that after taking off, the airplane was "unable to climb." The airplane impacted a field approximately 1 mile south of the airport, substantially damaging the firewall and engine mounts. Weather conditions at the approximate time of the accident recorded in from Provo, Utah, located 36 miles south-southeast of the accident site were as follows: wind 010 degrees at 3 knots; sky condition clear; visibility, 10 statute miles; temperature, 82 degrees F; dew point, 59 degrees F; altimeter 29.87 inches.

Tooele Valley Airport is at an elevation of 4,316 feet msl. According to another FAA inspector who was at the airport at the time of the accident, the temperature was in the "high nineties." Using this temperature and the altimeter setting recorded at Provo, Utah, the density altitude at Tooele Valley Airport was estimated to be 7,750 feet msl. Weight and balance computations were made based on data submitted by the pilot. The airplane was within weight limits, but was 0.86 inches forward of the airplane's forward center of gravity limit. Rate of climb was calculated using the Piper Cherokee 140C Owner's Handbook. The rate of climb under these conditions was calculated to be approximately 350 feet per minute. Using the best rate of climb airspeed of 85 miles per hour, it was estimated that the airplane would climb approximately 247 feet per mile. The difference in elevation between the departure end of runway 16 and the accident site is about 150 feet.

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