NTSB Identification: MIA99LA238.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 25, 1999 in JACKSON, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6685J
Injuries: 2 Minor,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.

According to the pilot he calculated the weight for this flight and came up with total weight of '...860 pounds, 5.5 pound over weight limit.' He said he '...did a complete check off on everything in the cockpit, and a static run-up only produced 2400 RPM's instead of 2500 RPM's the engine usually produced.' He rotated the airplane at 80 mph, it climbed to about 100 to 150 feet and entered 'some turbulence, at this time it felt like something was pushing the airplane to the ground...[he] decided the airplane was not going to climb over the trees and started turning off the fuel selector switch, the master switch, and we went into the trees.' According to the FAA inspector's statement, the airplane was at '...max gross weight at takeoff and encountered a down draft.' The stall warning light came on, the pilot lowered the nose to prevent a stall, the airplane was unable to maintain altitude and hit trees at end of runway. The reported temperature in the area about the time of the accident was about 90 degrees F. The wind were variable at 4 knots. The calculated density altitude was 2332 feet.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparation, which resulted in taking off with the airplane's maximum gross weight exceeded, and subsequent impact with trees. Factors in this accident were high temperatures and an in-flight encounter with a downdraft.

Full narrative available

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