NTSB Identification: FTW98FA372.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 22, 1998 in ERIE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 175A, registration: N6874E
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had an estimated 250 hours of flight experience and flew into Tri-County Airport (his second trip) to visit family members. The pilot was observed fueling his airplane before loading 3 passengers for a sight-seeing flight. The weight was calculated to be 50 pounds over maximum gross weight. He was seen taking off on runway 15 (elevation 5,130 feet; density altitude 8,185 feet) and a witness observed a wind shift to 300 degrees, 12 to 18 knots. Another witness observed a longer than normal takeoff; and at 50 to 100 feet the airplane's right wing dropped abruptly and the airplane spun half a turn to the ground. The pilot was visiting from the Dallas, Texas, area. Center of gravity and performance data could not be calculated due to configuration and envelope limitations.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain flying speed (above stall speed) and the subsequent stall/spin. Contributing factors were the tailwind, high density altitude, and aircraft overweight conditions.

Full narrative available

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