NTSB Identification: LAX94LA326.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 18, 1994 in CHINLE, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N5765R
Injuries: 4 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.

THE PILOT SAID THE AIRPLANE'S (NORMALLY ASPIRATED) ENGINE DID NOT PRODUCED ADEQUATE POWER TO CLIMB OVER TERRAIN LOCATED ADJACENT TO THE AIRSTRIP. DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL, THE AIRPLANE INITIALLY BECAME AIRBORNE UPON REACHING AN AIRSPEED OF 65 KNOTS. THE AIRPLANE CLIMBED BETWEEN 2 AND 4 FEET ABOVE THE DIRT RUNWAY'S SURFACE, AND THEN IT SETTLED BACK ONTO THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT CONTINUED THE TAKEOFF ROLL, AND AFTER ACCELERATING TO 70 KNOTS, IT AGAIN BECAME AIRBORNE. AS THE AIRPLANE FLEW PAST THE DEPARTURE END OF THE RUNWAY, THE LANDING GEAR COLLIDED WITH THE PERIMETER BOUNDARY FENCE, THEN THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH GRADUALLY RISING TERRAIN. THE PILOT SAID THAT AT THE TIME OF THE MISHAP THERE WAS NO WIND OR TURBULENCE, AND THE TEMPERATURE WAS 78 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. BASED UPON THIS DATA, THE SAFETY BOARD CALCULATED THAT THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS APPROXIMATELY 7,900 FEET. AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE CHARTS NOTED THAT UNDER THE ALTITUDE AND TEMPERATURE CONDITIONS, THE DISTANCE TO CLEAR A 50-FOOT OBSTACLE IS OFF THE CHART; HOWEVER, INTERPOLATION YIELDS A MINIMUM DISTANCE OF 4,800 FEET. THE PREDICTED RATE OF CLIMB IS 150 FEET PER MINUTE.

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

the pilot's premature liftoff, and his failure to attain the appropriate airspeed during a takeoff attempt under high density altitude conditions.

Full narrative available

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