NTSB Identification: NYC04LA109.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 19, 2004 in Berkley, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N9862D
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Several witnesses observed the airplane as it was attempting to land on a turf runway, and recalled that it was higher and faster than normal. The witnesses then observed the airplane strike a tree, and descend to the ground. Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane struck a 50-foot high tree located about 445 feet prior to the runway threshold. According to an FAA Airport Facilities Directory, the runway was a 2,466-foot long, 50-foot wide turf runway, and had a 756 foot displaced threshold, marked with lime. The directory also mentioned trees were located at the approach end of the runway. Examination of the runway revealed large patches of brown grass and tire marks were observed about 10 feet beyond the beginning of the runway surface. No markings were observed identifying a displaced threshold. The pilot was also the owner and manager of the airport. The winds reported at an airport located about 3 miles north of the accident site, about the time of the accident, were from 200 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 19 knots.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of altitude/distance and his failure to maintain adequate clearance from trees while landing. Factors related to the accident were the lack runway displaced threshold markings, the trees located at the end of the runway, and the gusting wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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