NTSB Identification: LAX97LA004.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 06, 1996 in ELY, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N6614J
Injuries: 4 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 pilot reported that he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and nothing unusual was noted. He and three passengers then taxied for takeoff, an engine run-up was conducted, the mixture was leaned for the 8,000-foot density altitude atmospheric condition, and they took off. About 30 seconds after liftoff, between 100 and 200 feet above ground level, the engine started missing. According to one of the passengers, the engine sounded as though it was intermittently operating on three cylinders. Unable to maintain altitude, the pilot increased the airplane's angle of attack while turning toward an open field. The airplane stalled, crashed into the field, and was destroyed by fire. The airframe and engine were examined, and no evidence of catastrophic failures were noted. Due to the extent of fire damage, the magnetos, carburetor, fuel pump, and various portions of the induction system could not be completely examined.

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

a partial loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed to preclude stalling, while turning toward an emergency landing area. A factor related to the accident was: the high density altitude condition.

Full narrative available

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