NTSB Identification: CHI94LA234.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 19, 1994 in TRAVERSE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N8255N
Injuries: 4 Serious.

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

DURING INITIAL CLIMBOUT FROM TAKEOFF A PASSENGER STATED HE FELT THE AIRPLANE 'BUMP' SEVERAL TIMES. WHEN ATC TOLD THE PILOT TO TURN, THE PASSENGER SAID HE FELT MORE BUMPING AS THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED INTO THE TREES. GROUND WITNESSES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE PITCHING UP AND DOWN WHILE FLYING LOW. THEY STATED THE ENGINE SOUNDED LIKE IT WAS RUNNING AT FULL POWER. THE ON-SCENE INVESTIGATION REVEALED FULL NOSE UP TRIM, A TAKEOFF WEIGHT 196 POUNDS OVER CERTIFICATED GROSS WEIGHT. THE ENGINE WAS TEST RUN AT THE MANUFACTURER. THE ENGINE PRODUCED 100 PERCENT OF RATED POWER DURING THE TEST RUN.

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

poor preflight planning and preparation by the pilot for not calculating the weight and balance of his airplane before departure. Factors associated with the accident were the airplane's weight and balance was exceeded, and the pilot's lack of recent experience in the accident airplane.

Full narrative available

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