NTSB Identification: IAD00FA053.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 23, 2000 in BEALETON, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N311SB
Injuries: 2 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.

The flight instructor and student pilot landed to the south on the north/south-aligned runway. The airplane then taxied to the end of the runway, turned, and departed to the north. The sod runway had grass about 3 to 4 inches high and was about 2,200 feet long. One hundred foot high power lines and 60-80 foot tall trees were at the immediate north end of the runway. A witness, who had heard the airplane land, then saw the airplane as it turned around at the departure end of the north runway. He was concerned when the airplane departed, since 'Cherokees do not fly well in and out of this airport.' He saw the airplane's wings rock back and forth after it became airborne, and feared the airplane would crash. The airplane struck the trees and crashed beyond the trees and power lines. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed that there were no mechanical discrepancies. Airplane performance data indicated that the airplane would have required about 2,100 feet of take-off distance on a hard surface to clear a 50-foot obstacle.

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

the flight instructor's improper pre-flight plan and decision to land and depart an airport with insufficient runway. A factor in the accident was the short grass runway with a 100-foot obstruction at the end.

Full narrative available

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