NTSB Identification: ATL97FA014.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 31, 1996 in AVON PARK, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N8353P
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the taxi to the runway for takeoff, the pilot was observed adjusting the ceiling mounted elevator trim. On takeoff, the nose of the airplane porpoised, and the propeller contacted the runway. After becoming airborne, the airplane turned left and entered a steep nose down dive until it impacted in an orange tree nursery. Subsequently, multiple propeller slash marks were found in the runway, where a witness observed a cloud of debris, created by the airplane on its takeoff roll. The elevator trim was found in the fully deflected position for nose down trim. The propeller blades exhibited abrasions on the cambered face at the tips, which were curled aft 90 degrees.

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

The pilot's improper use of the elevator trim, which resulted in runway contact by the propeller during the takeoff roll and subsequent loss of aircraft control.

Full narrative available

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