NTSB Identification: NYC97LA126.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 23, 1997 in HIGHGATE, VT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-30, registration: N8321Y
Injuries: 1 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 loaded 100 unsecured paper bundles in the airplane that had a useful load of 1,100 pounds. During the initial takeoff climb, the airplane rotated normally, then pitched up excessively. The pilot reduced power and lowered the nose to prevent a stall. He then performed a forced landing into trees. Examination of the wreckage did not disclose evidence of mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any. The pilot stated that he was unaware of the cargo invoice that listed the cargo weight to be 1,800 pounds. The cargo was weighed post accident, and was determined to be 1,450 pounds. The airplane had a useful load of 1,100 pounds. The pilot did not report that he secured the newspaper inserts after he loaded them, and there was no evidence during the postcrash examination that they were secured.

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

The pilot's failure to secure the cargo. A factor was the pilot's failure to perform weight and balance calculations.

Full narrative available

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