NTSB Identification: MIA97LA218.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 27, 1997 in BURNSVILLE, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-260, registration: N9396P
Injuries: 2 Minor,2 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.

Before takeoff the pilot failed to verify that the main cabin door was closed and latched. After takeoff the door opened and he maneuvered the airplane to land in the opposite direction than for takeoff. He stated that he became distracted due to the perceived emergency and landed about 6 feet short of the runway on upsloping terrain. The left main landing gear then separated from the airplane which bounced onto then off the runway into a 25-foot deep ravine where the airplane came to rest upright.

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

The failure of the pilot to use the checklist to confirm that the main cabin door was closed and locked before takeoff. Also, failure of the pilot to attain the proper touchdown point during the precautionary landing. Contributing to the accident was the self induced pressure by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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