NTSB Identification: NYC04FA056.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 07, 2004 in Danbury, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N1558X
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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.

During the takeoff climb, as the airplane approached the departure end of the runway, the pilot heard a "pop," the airplane began to shudder, and he felt a "decrease in aircraft performance." The pilot unsuccessfully attempted to evaluate the problem, and then at 400 feet, he initiated a turn back to the airport. During the turn, the airplane "stalled," impacted a tree, and a post-crash fire ensued. During the takeoff climb, witnesses observed a thin "puff" of smoke trailing from the airplane's exhaust, prior to the pilot initiating the turn back to the runway. On-scene examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any mechanical deficiencies.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons, and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed.

Full narrative available

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