NTSB Identification: FTW94LA171.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 21, 1994 in POTTSBORO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N9687W
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

FOLLOWING A SOCIAL EVENT ATTENDED BY MANY OF THE PILOT'S FRIENDS, THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO DEPART FROM A 1,500-FT AIRSTRIP ADJACENT TO THE MEETING AREA (1,100 FT AVAILABLE FOR TAKEOFF AND LANDING). THE PILOT USED 10 DEG OF FLAPS INSTEAD OF THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDED 25 DEG. ACCORDING TO THE AIRPLANE OPERATOR'S MANUAL, 1,700 FT WAS REQUIRED TO CLEAR A 50-FT OBSTACLE AT SEA LEVEL. DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS 2,000 FT. THE PILOT INTENTIONALLY GROUND LOOPED THE AIRPLANE 1,397 FT FROM HIS POINT OF BRAKE RELEASE TO AVOID IMPACTING TREES AT THE DEPARTURE END OF THE AIRSTRIP. THE AIRPLANE'S RIGHT WING WAS SHEARED OFF AFTER IMPACTING A TREE. THE PASSENGERS STATED THAT THE PILOT WAS 'SHOWING OFF' HIS PILOT SKILLS FOR HIS FRIENDS BY LANDING IN SUCH A SMALL STRIP.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO DETERMINE, PRIOR TO LANDING AT THE AIRPORT, THAT THE RUNWAY LENGTH WOULD BE INADEQUATE FOR A SAFE TAKEOFF, AND HIS SUBSEQUENT FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDED SHORT-FIELD TAKEOFF PROCEDURES. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE AND THE PILOT'S OSTENTATIOUS DISPLAY.

Full narrative available

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