NTSB Identification: NYC99FA213.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 29, 1999 in SUSSEX, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N737CJ
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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.

At the conclusion of an airshow held at an uncontrolled airport, pilots reported that someone over the Unicom frequency directed airplanes to depart Runway 21. While waiting for takeoff from Runway 21, several pilots stated that the windsock indicated a direct tailwind. Witnesses observed departing airplanes 'struggling' to climb and coming 'really close' to trees located off the departure end of the runway. The accident airplane departed Runway 21 and impacted the trees located off the departure end of the runway. The airplane then pitched down and impacted in a field. Winds reported at an airport about 38 miles southeast of the accident site were from 340 degrees at 10 knots with 19 knot gusts, and witnesses stated the wind was blowing 'straight down,' and favoring Runway 3.

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

The pilot's improper decision to takeoff with a tailwind. Factor's in this accident were the tailwind condition and pressure to depart caused by other airplanes performing successful downwind departures.

Full narrative available

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