NTSB Identification: ATL97LA033.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 09, 1997 in LEBANON, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N1434X
Injuries: 1 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 noninstrument-rated private pilot/aircraft broker was ferrying the airplane to a purchaser. He reported that he had been airborne about 4 hours 45 minutes since the last refueling . He was flying over an overcast. The engine oil temperature increased and the engine rpm decreased. He descended through a hole in the clouds, located an empty field and made a forced landing. He stated that as a precaution, he then had 5 gallons of fuel brought from the local airport, about two miles away, and had it put in the airplane. He then elected to takeoff, stating that the oil temperature was now almost normal. During the soft, short field departure, the airplane became airborne prematurely when the takeoff path crossed a terrace. The pilot said airspeed began decreasing, but he was committed to the takeoff. A left turn was begun which resulted in a stall and collision with the ground.

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

The pilot's improper short, soft field takeof. A factor was the pilot's poor in-flight decision to operate over an overcast until near the airplane's maximum endurance.

Full narrative available

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