On November 24, 2004, about 1530 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-22-160, N9827D, veered off the runway and collided with terrain during landing rollout at Ernest A. Love Field Airport, Prescott, Arizona. The airline transport pilot and three passengers were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed. The personal cross-country flight was departing with the planned destination of General WM J Fox Airfield, Lancaster, California.

In a telephone interview with a National Transporation Safety Board investigator, the pilot reported that the wind conditions were calm, and the temperature was normal for the season and time of day. The pilot assumed that the density altitude condition was high, but reported that he was unconcerned as he was accustomed to operating from the airport in comparably powered airplanes and under similar weather conditions. He expected that his experience in the airplane would provide an adequate estimation of takeoff and climb performance.

The pilot further reported that the airplane was at the maximum gross weight of 2,000 pounds and that the center of gravity was within the limitations prescribed by the airplane's Approved Flight Manual.

The pilot performed a before takeoff check of the flight controls and engine systems and initiated the takeoff roll, departing runway 21L. The airplane became airborne after a normal takeoff ground roll distance, and began to climb at a rate between 100 to 200 feet per minute. After the airplane reached an altitude about 100 feet above ground, the pilot decided that the airplane was not gaining sufficient altitude. He estimated that sufficient runway remained (2,000 to 2,500 feet), and decided to perform a precautionary landing.

After a normal touchdown along the runway centerline, the airplane veered to the left during landing rollout. The airplane continued off the runway into nearby grass. The left main gear impacted soft soil, pivoting the airplane to the left. The left wingtip and left side of the elevator sustained damage.

The pilot added that with 3.5 hours of experience in the airplane, he was not yet accustomed to the manner in which the airplane frequently veered to the left during the landing rollout phase. He stated that he was hesitant to overcorrect and cited unfamiliarity with this characteristic of the airplane as a possible contributing factor to the loss of directional control.

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