NTSB Identification: LAX94LA290.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 18, 1994 in BANNING, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/29/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N4487X
Injuries: 1 Fatal,2 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.
THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLYING FROM PHOENIX TO VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA, AND STOPPED AT BANNING FOR FUEL. AFTER ARRIVAL, 45.1 GALLONS OF 100 LL AVIATION FUEL WERE LOADED INTO THE AIRCRAFT'S FUEL TANKS. THE AIRCRAFT THEN TAXIED OUT AND DEPARTED ON THE 5,200-FOOT-LONG RUNWAY 26, WHICH HAS AN UPHILL GRADIENT OF 2.4 PERCENT. ACCORDING TO WITNESSES ON THE AIRPORT, THE AIRCRAFT USED APPROXIMATELY 4,200 FEET OF THE RUNWAY LENGTH DURING THE GROUND RUN AND NEVER ACHIEVED MORE THAN 200 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL IN THE CLIMB. THE AIRCRAFT THEN SLOWLY DESCENDED IN A NOSE-HIGH ATTITUDE AS THE WINGS OSCILLATED SLIGHTLY. A PILOT WITNESS DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY PARALLEL TO THE AIRCRAFT'S FLIGHT PATH REPORTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT'S GROUND SPEED GRADUALLY DECAYED BELOW 55 MPH AS THE NOSE ROSE HIGHER AND HIGHER. THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN A SLIGHT LEFT TURN, THEN IT COLLIDED WITH THE TOP OF A 40-FOOT-TALL POWER POLE AND CAME TO REST ON THE DRIVEWAY OF A COMMERCIAL BUILDING. THE AIRCRAFT WAS LOADED 223 POUNDS OVER MAX ALLOWABLE GROSS WEIGHT. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS 4,240 FEET. NO MECHANICAL DISCREPANCIES WERE FOUND WITH THE AIRFRAME OR ENGINE.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to obtain and maintain an appropriate climb airspeed after lift-off which resulted in an inadvertent stall mush condition. Factors in the accident were the high-density altitude condition, the pilot's selection of a runway with an uphill gradient, and the pilot's loading of the aircraft 223 pounds in excess of the maximum allowable gross takeoff weight. Full narrative available
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