NTSB Identification: SEA00LA175.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 02, 2000 in WAPATO, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/18/2001
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-C, registration: N87351
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

While on approach to the private airstrip, the pilot inadvertently allowed the aircraft to descend to a lower than normal altitude. When he was about 50 feet from the end of the runway, he realized that he needed to climb in order to clear the trees just off the approach end. Although he added power, he did not do so in time to climb above the treetops. Therefore the aircraft collided with the trees and tumbled into the terrain. The pilot also thought that he may have encountered a downdraft at about the same time as he added power for the climb.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the trees off the approach end of the runway, and his delay of the remedial action that would have allowed him to clear the trees. Factors include the pilot's failure to maintain a proper glidepath, trees off the approach end of the runway, and a downdraft in the vicinity of the approach path.

Full narrative available

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