NTSB Identification: CHI98LA071.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, December 17, 1997 in VALLEY CENTER, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Piper J-3, registration: N32737
Injuries: 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 reported that shortly after takeoff, he felt and heard what he thought was the limbs of nearby trees brushing the right wingtip. He reported, 'I now know the shudder of a near stall caused the door window at my right to rattle. My reflex action was a left turn, the sure way to start a spin from a pre-stall attitude.' The airplane rotated to the right and cart-wheeled off the right wingtip and hit trees. The airplane came to rest in an inverted position with the tail resting vertically in the trees. The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented by, 'decreasing the climb angle sooner after liftoff.'

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

the pilot's excessive pull up after lift-off and failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb, which resulted in a stall and collision with wooded terrain.

Full narrative available

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