NTSB Identification: MIA98LA004.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 04, 1997 in TRENTON, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/04/1998
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N30236
Injuries: 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.

The pilot stated that during the takeoff roll, he forced the aircraft off the runway, because he mistook a midspan crest on the runway as the departure end, and because other similar aircraft became airborne at that particular point. The premature rotation caused the aircraft to become airborne in ground-effect, but it would not climb. It settled into trees about 100 yards beyond the airport boundary. The pilot further stated that he never saw over 2050 rpm throughout the takeoff run. The tachometer was subsequently found to be reading higher than actual engine rpm; at an indicated 2050 rpm, actual rpm was approximately 1650. The type-certificate data sheet indicated the redline was at 2350 rpm and minimum static was 1950 rpm. The pilot stated that he installed the tachometer sometime between 'Sun' n' Fun' of 1996 (where he thought he bought the tachometer) and 11/25/96 (when the aircraft was annual-inspected).

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

failure of the pilot to abort the takeoff, when he observed an indication of less than full engine power on the tachometer from the beginning of the takeoff roll. Factors relating to the accident were: the inadequate preflight planning and preparation by the pilot by failing to know the available runway remaining for an abort maneuver, faulty reading on the tachometer, and trees near the end of the runway.

Full narrative available

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