On October 10, 2010, about 1700 mountain daylight time, a Beech C24R, N50634M, impacted a chain link fence at the Blanding Youth Detention Center during a forced landing about a 1/2-mile from the Blanding Municipal Airport (BDG), Blanding, Utah, after taking off from runway 35. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provision of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal cross-country flight. The airplane sustained structural damage to the wings and fuselage. The private pilot and the certificated commercial pilot-rated passenger were not injured; there were no ground injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed.

In a telephone interview with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot stated that he had recently purchased the airplane from a friend in Georgia, and was flying it home to Utah. They had stopped at BDG to refuel the airplane. The pilot stated that they calculated the airplane performance while at BDG. He reported that the airplane had 40 gallons of fuel on board, and the winds were from 300 degrees at 13 knots. He calculated the density altitude (DA) to be 7,500 feet, and estimated that there was in excess of 2,000 feet of extra runway for the takeoff. He further stated that they did not "top off" with fuel due to DA considerations.

The pilot stated that he performed a short field takeoff and he observed a positive rate of climb after liftoff. He raised the landing gear handle and retracted the flaps from 15 degrees to 0 degrees. However, the landing gear did not retract. He further reported that the engine was not sputtering or missing, but running at full power. The pilot stated that the airplane was not maintaining airspeed, nor was it able to climb away from the rising terrain. He targeted a road straight ahead of the airplane for landing, and reduced the throttle to idle prior to touchdown. Prior to landing, the pilot placed the landing gear handle back to the down position, so that the landing gear would not retract upon touchdown. The pilot stated that due to a left-quartering head wind, the airplane drifted to the right, and the left landing gear got caught on a chain link fence. The airplane came to a stop in a watermelon patch.

In the pilot’s submitted report (National Transportation Safety Board Form 6120.1, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report), he stated that it may have been possible to take off from runway 17 rather than runway 35, even with a right-quartering tail wind but away from rising terrain.

The Airport Facility Directory for BDG in the remarks section indicated that there was a 1.6 percent up gradient to the North. Information obtained from http://www.airnav.com/airport under Runway Information, indicated that runway 17 was at an elevation of 5,867.8 feet with no obstructions. Runway 35 was at an elevation of 5,774.5 feet, with obstructions (28:1 slope to clear, 620 feet from runway, 15-foot road).

According to the airplane manufacturer, with the stated ambient conditions, at a full power setting of 2,700 rpm, zero degrees of flaps, and the landing gear down, the airplane was capable of climbing at 227 feet per minute.

An NTSB investigator examined the airplane at the facilities of Air Transport, Phoenix, Arizona, on December 10, 2010. No pre-existing mechanical deficiencies or failures were observed that would have precluded normal operation. Detailed examination notes are part of the public docket.

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