Friday, July 1, 2016

Piper PA-28-161, N8237Z: Accident occurred June 29, 2016 at Cherry Ridge Airport (N30), Honesdale, Wayne County, Pennsylvania

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  Allentown, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N8237Z

NTSB Identification: ERA16CA237
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 29, 2016 in Honesdale, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28-161, registration: N8237Z
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

At an airport with a field elevation of 1,357 ft above mean sea level, where the temperature was 23°C, the pilot loaded the airplane with passengers, luggage, and fuel, to near its maximum gross weight. He then initiated a takeoff on a 2,986-ft-long runway, which had an approximate 500-ft displaced threshold on each end, a 0.6-percent uphill gradient, and trees off the departure end. While attempting to take off, the airplane failed to become airborne, and the pilot aborted the takeoff. The airplane traveled off the right side of the runway and was substantially damaged when it struck vegetation and terrain. The pilot and the three passengers were not injured. Review of airport security camera footage revealed that the pilot had initiated a rolling, 0-flap takeoff from an intersection with about 200 ft of usable pavement behind him. Review of the weather conditions present at the time of the accident indicated that the density altitude was 2,805 ft. Review of weather information and a Koch chart also indicated that with the density altitude that existed at the time of the accident, a 30 percent increase in takeoff distance should have been anticipated by the pilot along with a 23 percent decrease in climb rate. Review of the information manual for the airplane revealed that it contained performance information. When asked if he had checked the density altitude before takeoff, the pilot replied that he had not.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in his attempt to take off near the airplane’s maximum gross weight in high-density altitude conditions that degraded the airplane’s takeoff and climb performance and resulted in an aborted takeoff and subsequent runway excursion.

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