NTSB Identification: IAD97LA120.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 18, 1997 in DANBURY, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-180, registration: N3102R
Injuries: 3 Serious,1 Minor.

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 during initial climb the engine lost power, and they crashed into trees. Examination of the airplane did not disclose any evidence of mechanical malfunction with the engine or the airplane. The three passengers said they did not see the pilot complete a weight and balance, neither did he ask them what their weights were, nor did he weigh their baggage. When their actual weights and baggage were computed, the airplane was 233 pounds over its maximum takeoff gross weight 2,500 pounds. One of the occupants said that he heard the stall warning horn just before the airplane struck the trees.

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

The pilot's improper planning/decision to not use actual occupant weights and compute takeoff data, which resulted in an overweight takeoff towards rising terrain.

Full narrative available

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