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N7729D accident description

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Tail numberN7729D
Accident dateJuly 11, 1999
Aircraft typePiper PA-22-150
LocationRoy, UT
Additional details: None

NTSB description


On July 11, 1999, at 1152 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-22-150, N7729D, impacted terrain during initial climb following takeoff from Hinckley Municipal Airport, Ogden, Utah. The private pilot and his three passengers received fatal injuries and impact and postimpact fire destroyed the aircraft. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for this personal flight to Jackpot, Nevada. The flight was being operated under Title 14 CFR part 91.

According to airport control tower recorded information and controller statements, the aircraft was observed to settle and then climb slowly following takeoff. The pilot made the decision to return to land shortly after initial takeoff and was in a right hand turn with the wings observed to be rocking, when the aircraft rolled right to an inverted position, and descended into trees approximately 1/4 mile from the airport. The pilot did not indicate to the tower controller, who queried him about having problems with the aircraft, that there were any aircraft failures or malfunctions. The pilot had been cleared to land on runway 03.

A church was located to the north of the crash site and service had ended immediately prior to the accident. Numerous persons were in the parking lot immediately adjacent to the accident site and several witnessed the accident, which took place about 30 feet south of the parking lot. Witness statements are attached and depict the aircraft in a right turn with the wings rocking. They described the right wing as "dropping" with the aircraft rolling to an inverted attitude as it impacted the trees. The witnesses said the aircraft was immediately engulfed in flames.


According to information provided by the FAA, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating in airplanes-single engine land. He did not possess an instrument rating. The date of issue of his pilot certificate was December 3, 1998, and according to information provided by the pilot on his application for a medical certificate, he had 200 hours of flight time as of January 18, 1999, which was the date his third class medical certificate was issued. A restriction on his medical certificate required him to wear corrective lenses while exercising the privileges of his pilot certificate.


The aircraft, N7729D, was a Piper PA-22-150, powered by a Lycoming O-320 series engine rated at 150 horsepower at 2,700 revolutions per minute (rpm) at sea level.

The aircraft contained seating for four people, was certificated for single pilot operation, and had a maximum certificated gross weight of 2,000 pounds. According to weight and balance information, this aircraft had an empty weight of 1,147 pounds. It contained 8 quarts of engine oil weighing 15 pounds, and 36 gallons of fuel weighing 216 pounds. Thus, the basic operating weight was 1,378 pounds, which left 622 pounds for useful load.


An observation made 2 minutes before the accident was clear skies with 10 miles visibility, an altimeter setting of 30.25 inches of mercury, and wind from the north at 5 knots. The temperature was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (F), the dew point was 43 degrees (F) and the density altitude was 7,400 feet.


The pilot of the aircraft communicated with Ogden Ground control and Ogden tower. The transcripts are attached and provide no evidence of aircraft failure or malfunction.


Ogden Hinckley Airport, located 3 miles southwest of the city of Ogden, is 4,470 feet above sea level. The airport is made up of three runways: 16/34 - 5,352 feet X 150 feet, 7/25 - 5,600 feet X 150 feet, and runway 3/21 which is 8,103 feet X 150 feet. All are surfaced with blacktop. An airport and surrounding area map is attached and depicts the accident aircraft flight path and the impact site based on witness information.


The aircraft impacted in the back yard of a residence. The first point of impact was into a row of trees running east/west, and the aircraft came to rest in an inverted position approximately 20 feet north of the tree line. Several smooth angular cuts were found in the tree branches.

The aircraft was destroyed by impact and postimpact fire, which caused damage to all portions of the aircraft except a section of the empennage. All occupants remained in the aircraft.

The fuselage was oriented on a heading of 260 degrees and there was no ground scar. The engine was separated and located approximately 3 feet west of the fuselage. It was buried in the ground and the propeller blades were discernable but obscured. The right wing was intact and the left wing was folded rearward along the side of the fuselage.


Calculations based on known aircraft weights, which are depicted under AIRCRAFT INFORMATION in this document, and a total occupant weight of 758 pounds, supplied by the medical examiner, provided evidence the aircraft weight at takeoff was 2,136 pounds, or 136 pounds over the maximum certificated gross weight.

A review of the aircraft operating manual performance data provided no information concerning rate or angle of climb.


Parties to the investigation were Piper Aircraft Corporation and Textron Lycoming Engines.

The wreckage was released to the owner's insurance representative on July 15, 1999. No parts were retained.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.