NTSB Identification: LAX95LA254.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 15, 1995 in BIG BEAR CITY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N8742N
Injuries: 2 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.

ABOUT 300 FEET INTO THE INITIAL CLIMB, THE PILOT NOTED THE ENGINE RPM HAD DECREASED AND THE RATE OF CLIMB WAS ZERO. HE INITIATED A LEFT TURN BACK TOWARD THE RUNWAY, BUT NOTED HE WAS LOSING BOTH AIRSPEED AND ALTITUDE. HE LOWERED ONE NOTCH OF FLAPS TO MAINTAIN ALTITUDE, BUT THE AIRPLANE CONTINUED TO DESCEND. WITH AIRSPEED STILL DECREASING, THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TERRAIN SHORT OF THE RUNWAY. THE ESTIMATED DENSITY WAS 8,700 FEET. ACCORDING TO THE MANUFACTURER, MAXIMUM POWER AVAILABLE AT THAT DENSITY ALTITUDE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETWEEN 65 AND 70 PERCENT, OR NO MORE THAN 2,315 RPM AT CRUISE. NO DISCREPANCIES WERE NOTED DURING AN EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE AND A POST-ACCIDENT RUNUP OF THE ENGINE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION AND FAILURE TO OBTAIN OR MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED DURING TAKEOFF. A FACTOR RELATING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE.

Full narrative available

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