NTSB Identification: ATL99FA066.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 01, 1999 in TALLAHASSEE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-34-200, registration: N15478
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot of another airplane, while taxiing for takeoff, observed the accident airplane during the initial climb out. The airplane was observed in a right 45-degree bank, the nose of the airplane was up about 30 degrees and the airplane appeared to have stalled. At approximately the same time, the pilot radioed and reported that he was having a problem and wanted to return; the pilot never stated the problem. The airplane suddenly started losing altitude and just before colliding with the ground, the airplane was last observed in a 20 to 30 degree right bank, and a 50 to 60 degree nose-down attitude. Seconds later, a fireball was observed in the vicinity where the airplane was last seen. The fuselage assembly received heavy fire damage. The center section of the airframe and the cockpit area was fire damaged. The subsequent examination of the engine and airframe assemblies failed to reveal a mechanical problem or component failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain flying speed during initial climb which resulted in a stall and uncontrolled collision with terrain. Full narrative available
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