NTSB Identification: SEA95LA151.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 14, 1995 in KENT, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-160, registration: N5040W
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 STATED THAT HE ESTIMATED THE PASSENGERS WEIGHT, BAGGAGE, AND FUEL QUANTITY AND REPORTED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS LOADED ONE POUND UNDER MAX GROSS WEIGHT AND WITHIN THE C.G. ENVELOPE FOR TAKEOFF. THE PILOT STATED THAT DURING THE TAKEOFF GROUND ROLL, HE HELD THE AIRPLANE ON THE RUNWAY TO GAIN ADDITIONAL GROUND SPEED BEFORE ROTATION. AFTER ROTATION, THE PILOT HELD THE AIRPLANE IN GROUND EFFECT TO INCREASE THE AIRSPEED BEFORE PULLING UP TO GAIN ALTITUDE. THE PILOT STATED THAT THE AIRPLANE FELT 'SLUGGISH' AND THE STALL WARNING LIGHT ILLUMINATED EACH TIME THE ANGLE OF ATTACK WAS INCREASED. BECAUSE OF THE DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS, THE PILOT WAS NOT SURE IF THE AIRPLANE WOULD CLEAR THE TERRAIN AND OBSTRUCTIONS OFF THE DEPARTURE END THE RUNWAY. AFTER THE LANDING GEAR COLLIDED WITH TREE TOPS, THE PILOT REDUCED ENGINE POWER AND LANDED THE AIRPLANE IN SMALL TREES AND HIGH BRUSH. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THERE WERE NO MECHANICAL FAILURES OR MALFUNCTIONS WITH THE AIRPLANE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEAR OF THE TREES. THE DARK NIGHT LIGHT CONDITION WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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