NTSB Identification: MIA01FA223.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 19, 2001 in Blairsville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Beech A23, registration: N8869M
Injuries: 3 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 fuel tanks were filled just before takeoff; there were no known witnesses who observed the takeoff roll. According to a witness near where the airplane crashed, the airplane was flying at a low altitude and banked to the left. He thought the airplane was going to hit his house; the engine appeared to him to be running at a low power setting and was also noted to be running rough. He heard what he reported was a sound he associated with a "bush hog", then heard the impact and called 911. The airplane came to rest on the ground inverted; there was no swath through the trees indicating a gradual descent. All components necessary to sustain flight were in the immediate vicinity of the crash site; there was no evidence of post crash fire. Examination of the flight controls revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Examination of an approximate 10-inch diameter felled tree at the accident site revealed evidence of 2 propeller strikes; one of the cuts in the tree exhibited black paint transfer. The first strike was only approximately 1.25 inches deep into the tree and the second was approximately 4 inches deep into the tree. Examination of the propeller which had the propeller blades painted black on the aft side revealed one propeller blade was bent slightly forward. The second propeller blade exhibited leading edge twisting towards low pitch, was bent aft approximately 30-degrees, the tip was bent forward, and slight chordwise scratches were noted from the tip inboard approximately 21 inches. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction. Bench testing of the fuel system components revealed no evidence of preimpact failure. The runway used by the pilot is up sloping approximately 1.5 percent. Performance calculations from the takeoff distance chart indicated that based on a weather observation at a nearby airport, the distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was 2,616 feet. The performance chart is for a paved level runway; there is no note describing what distance to add for an up sloping runway.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed resulting in an inadvertent stall an subsequent in-flight collision with trees then the ground during the uncontrolled descent.

Full narrative available

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