NTSB Identification: NYC97LA107.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 06, 1997 in WALTON, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N38758
Injuries: 3 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 and two passengers arrived at their destination airport after a 1 hour flight. The pilot established a final approach to the runway 26, decided that he was too high to land, and performed a go-around. The runway length was 2300 feet. He established a right turn to depart the area, and then 'thought' he saw the airport. He established a second approach and realized that it was not the airport. The pilot initiated a climb out straight ahead, and decided that he did not have enough turning room left or right, and the rising terrain was beyond the climb capability of airplane. The pilot retracted the flaps gradually during climb and the airplane began to sink. With the stall warning on, the pilot selected and flew the airplane into a tall pine tree. The airplane then descended through trees and came to a stop on the ground. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the airplane.

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

The pilot's improper inflight decision to establish an approach without confirming the landing area, and his delayed go-around, which resulted in the inflight collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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