NTSB Identification: ATL01FA008.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 15, 2000 in SELMER, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-32RT, registration: N789CS
Injuries: 1 Fatal,3 Serious,1 Minor.

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 airplane collided with trees and subsequently the ground shortly after takeoff. According to witnesses, the airplane used about 3/4ths of the 5002-foot runway on the takeoff roll, and just before liftoff they heard the engine 'miss-fire'. They said the airplane did not seem to want to climb, and they observed it porpoise just above the trees. The airplane porpoise two or three times and then disappeared into the trees, and a crash was heard followed by smoke and fire. Examination of weight and balance data showed that the takeoff weight of the airplane was 252 pounds more than the designed limits at the time of the accident. The toxicology examination found evidence of Hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine and acetaminophen in the pilot's blood and liver samples.

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

The pilots inadequate preflight planning and preparation, that resulted in exceeding the designed weight and balance of the airplane. Factors were the pilot's use of inappropriate medications and the collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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