NTSB Identification: CHI97LA262.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 16, 1997 in JEFFERSON CITY, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-32R-301, registration: N8147B
Injuries: 3 Minor,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 pilot said that they had just taken off and were 'approximately 20 to 25 feet in the air when the engine rpm dropped from 2,700 to 400.' As the airspeed decreased, the airplane began to roll to the left. The pilot said that he kept the nose of the airplane up, and leveled the wings. 'As the airplane began to settle, the rpm zoomed to 700. The airplane touched down and then bounced back into the air.' The airplane was about 20 feet above the ground when the rpm dropped to zero and the left wing dropped again. The pilot again leveled the wings. By this time the airplane was left of the runway. The pilot decided to land in the dirt along-side the runway. 'The airplane touched down hard and then slid for a short distance.' The passenger in the right front seat said that after a short takeoff roll, the airplane got airborne, came down, bounced back in the air, and then came down very fast hitting left wing first. The passenger in the right rear seat said that it was loud when they took off and that the airplane was vibrating and seemed very rough. Examination of the airplane's stabilizer trim showed an almost full nose up trim setting. The rudder trim was set at full nose left. No other anomalies were revealed with the airplane.

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

the pilot's incomplete preflight of the airplane's stabilizer and rudder trim settings for takeoff, his failure to correct for the high pitch during the initial climb, his failure to recover from the bounced landing, and the inadvertent stall. Factors relating to this accident were the improper stabilizer and rudder trim settings.

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