The pilot reported that he was maneuvering to land at the airport in Granby, Colorado, in mountainous terrain with a field elevation of 8,203 feet mean sea level (MSL).
As he maneuvered to the east-southeast of the airport over rising terrain, he received a warning from the Columbia 400’s avionics that he was 500 feet above ground level and two additional warnings for him to “pull up.”
The pilot reported that the airplane began to gain altitude and increase in performance. He then pitched the airplane down and selected full flaps.
He reported that his airspeed was in the “150s.”
Of note, the maximum airspeed with flaps extended is 117 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS).
The pilot continued with the approach and at the runway 1,000 foot mark, the airspeed was 130 knots. At the runway 2,000 foot mark, the airspeed was greater than 100 knots. The landing speed with flaps in the landing position is 85 to 90 KIAS.
When the airplane was halfway down the runway (about 2,500 feet remaining) the pilot pressed the go-around button and advanced the throttle halfway for about two seconds before he advanced the throttle full forward.
The engine did not respond, so he checked the mixture and propeller controls and then examined the engine page on his digital display. When he looked outside the cockpit, the airplane had drifted to the right of the runway and continued to drift.
The airplane stalled and then landed hard.
The pilot reported that he thought he “experienced a wind shear situation” on landing.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage.
The calculated density altitude at the time of the accident was 10,743 feet. The airplane was loaded with three passengers for a weight of about 3,250 pounds.
The combination of weight and density altitude would have affected the airplane’s ability to climb as expected by the pilot.
The recommended visual pattern when arriving from the south involved flying above the midpoint of the runway to the north and make a pattern to land, to avoid overflying high terrain and noise abatement areas.
The pilot reported that in the preceding two years, he regularly operated out of airfields around 4,000 foot MSL.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s loss of control during landing in high density altitude conditions.
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This August 2021 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.