NTSB Identification: MIA02LA099.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 26, 2002 in Eton, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2002
Aircraft: Piper J-3F-65, registration: N33204
Injuries: 2 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 flight was departing a private, grass field within 10 to 15 miles of an approaching thunderstorm. At about 60 feet agl, the Piper J-3 encountered a downdraft that caused the aircraft to lose 30 feet of altitude, necessitating flying under power lines. Directional control was lost, the right wing collided with a power pole, and the aircraft impacted the terrain. FAA examination of the wreckage and maintenance records revealed no engine, airframe, or flight control condition that would have contributed to the loss of control.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during initial climb after takeoff, resulting in collision with a power pole. A factor in the accident was the flight's encounter with a downdraft condition during initial climb.

Full narrative available

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