NTSB Identification: CHI01LA012.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 14, 2000 in MANHATTAN, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6107P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane was destroyed on impact with trees and terrain during initial climb after takeoff from a private airstrip. The runway is oriented in a predominantly north/south direction, and is about 1600 feet in length. The takeoff was executed to the north. The ferry flight was being conducted for the purpose of relocating the aircraft so that maintenance could be performed. A postaccident examination of the accident scene revealed no anomalies that could be associated with a preexisting condition with respect to the aircraft. The grass strip runway was found to have 3-4 inch long grass. The length of the runway was found to be about 0.3 miles long by driving its length with an automobile. A videotape of the accident flight shows that during the takeoff roll the aircraft tail was drug along the runway twice. After initially becoming airborne, the aircraft settled back onto the runway before becoming airborne again. The airplane started an increasingly steep bank to the right before contacting the trees at the departure end of the runway. In a written statement, the pilot said, "We took off down runway-900-ft-hit ruts airplane bounced into air-held nose down to build airspeed-ro[t]ated to late hit trees." In his written report, the pilot listed no mechanical malfunction. In the report, the pilot listed his flight experience in this make and model of aircraft as "None".

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

the inadequate soft field takeoff procedure by the pilot and his failure to abort the takeoff. Factors were the high grass on the runway, the pilots disregard for the runway conditions, his lack of total experience in the aircraft, the trees, and the pilots failure to maintain clearance from the trees.

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