NTSB Identification: DEN01FA088.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 17, 2001 in Glenwood Sprgs, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Beech 35, registration: N2PZ
Injuries: 1 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 pilot was departing on runway 14, with a tailwind, at a mountain airport (elevation 5,916 feet; density altitude 8,016 feet) with near the aft limit CG. Witnesses said that the airplane rotated quickly and excessively. They said that the landing gear doors opened almost immediately even though the airplane's speed appeared slow and its pitch remained excessively high. Several of the witnesses observed the airplane wobbling side to side. A flight instructor, who was watching the departure, said that airplane never got higher than 100 feet above the ground. He said that he saw the airplane pitch up even more (the longitudinal trim was found 10 degrees nose down), and then it stalled into the ground. The pilot had purchased the airplane on March 30, 2001, and reported, on an insurance application for the airplane, that he had approximately 200 hours of total flight experience over 10 years, with 15 hours in retractable gear aircraft. The pilot had accumulated an estimated 20 hours of flight experience in the airplane by the time of the accident. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no evidence of any pre-impact discrepancies.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control, and the subsequent inadvertent stall/mush to the ground. Contributing factors were the pilot's lack of experience in make/model airplane, the high density altitude weather condition, and the pilot's attempted departure with a tailwind.

Full narrative available

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