NTSB Identification: ATL04FA096.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 19, 2004 in Greenwood, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp. SR20, registration: N8157J
Injuries: 4 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 airplane was observed by a witness taxing to the active 5000-foot-long runway and depart without an engine run-up. The witness also reported that the wing flaps were in the retracted position. Another witness described the takeoff roll as long and that the airplane remained about 10 to 15 feet above the runway as it approached the departure end of the runway. The witness reported that as the airplane approached the end of the runway the airplane suddenly pitched up at a steep angle to an altitude of about 300-400 feet. The airplane then slowed and appeared to experience a stall rotating about 175-degrees on its vertical axis to the left. About half way down from the 175-degree rotation point observed a slight pitch up of nose, and then airplane entered a near vertical dive to the left. The airplane disappeared from view behind a tree line and two consecutive loud bangs were heard followed by fire ball and black smoke. Examination of the crash site revealed the flap jack screw was found in the up position. According to the pilot operating handbook, the normal procedure for takeoff is for flaps to be extended to 50 percent. The takeoff ground distance, based on performance data, is 1776 feet. No anomalies were noted with the airframe, flight controls, or engine assembly during the post accident examination of the wreckage.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during initial climb that resulted in an inadvertent stall and the subsequent collision with trees. A factor was the inadequate preflight planning/preparation when he failed to lower the wing flaps.

Full narrative available

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