NTSB Identification: CHI03LA038.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 13, 2002 in Greensburg, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA28-181, registration: N793MA
Injuries: 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 substantially damaged when it departed the runway surface while attempting to takeoff. It came to rest in a plowed field adjacent to the airport. In his statement, the pilot reported: "As I started to lift off, suddenly the plane skid" and started to go toward the side of the runway. He went on to note that to avoid a collision, " I turned the plane to the west and tried to reduce speed, but the plane was out of control... ." The airport manager, who witnessed the accident aircraft attempting to takeoff, stated: "It was snowing fairly heavy, with a couple of inches of slush on the runway". He reported that it was almost a "white out" condition, and estimated visibility as approximately 1/4 mile. The pilot stated that there were no abnormalities with the controls, and no malfunctions with the aircraft. A post-accident examination also revealed no anomalies.

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

Failure of the pilot to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll. Contributing factors included inadequate planning/decision by the pilot for attempting to depart from the slush covered runway, the slush covered runway itself, and the falling snow.

Full narrative available

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