NTSB Identification: ANC94FA080.
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Nonscheduled 14 CFR
Accident occurred Monday, July 11, 1994 in PORTAGE CREEK, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/01/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-301, registration: N8297X
Injuries: 3 Fatal,2 Serious.

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.

ACCORDING TO A WITNESS, THE AIRPLANE WAS HEAVILY LOADED WITH PASSENGERS & BAGGAGE. THE PILOT ELECTED TO TAKE OFF EAST ON A 1920' SOFT WET RUNWAY WITH A 2-DEGREE UPSLOPE, WHICH ENDED AT A STEEP DROP-OFF. ABOUT 20 MILES EAST AT DILLINGHAM, THE 1147 ADT WIND WAS FROM 060 DEGREES AT 5 KNOTS. THE WITNESS SAID THAT THE WIND WAS FROM THE EAST WITH GUSTS TO 20 KNOTS & THAT THE AIRPLANE ACCELERATED SLOWLY DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL. TIRE MARKS (MATCHING THE AIRPLANE) SHOWED THAT IT LIFTED OFF 261' BEFORE THE END OF THE RUNWAY. AFTER LIFT-OFF, THE AIRPLANE SETTLED IN A DESCENDING LEFT TURN & CRASHED. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL FAILURE WAS EVIDENT. THE AIRPLANE'S WEIGHT & BALANCE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE 4011 POUNDS WITH A CENTER-OF-GRAVITY (CG) OF 97.8 INCHES. ITS MAXIMUM CERTIFICATED GROSS WEIGHT WAS 3600 POUNDS WITH A CG RANGE OF 90 TO 95 INCHES.

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PLANNING AND PREPARATION, AND HIS FAILURE TO ENSURE THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS WITHIN ITS GROSS WEIGHT AND CENTER-OF-GRAVITY LIMITS, WHICH RESULTED IN AN INABILITY TO OBTAIN SUFFICIENT AIRSPEED FOR SUSTAINED FLIGHT AND A RESULTANT STALL/MUSH. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE SOFT/WET/UPHILL RUNWAY CONDITION.

Full narrative available

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