NTSB Identification: MIA04LA084.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 16, 2004 in Everglades City, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N33840
Injuries: 4 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.

The pilot stated that he performed a run-up of the engine prior to departing the airport and found no problems. He said he then back-taxied to runway 15 for departure and during the take-off roll, the engine seemed to be fine. He further stated that at 65-68 knots he rotated but the aircraft did not leave the ground so he let the aircraft accelerate to 75 knots. The pilot says he then pulled back on the yoke, and the aircraft lifted off the runway and torqued to the left which he attempted to counteract by using the right rudder. He said that at this point the engine seemed "diminished" but that it was not sputtering. He said he then lowered the nose and the aircraft began descending at which time he lowered the landing gear. He says he saw a small island of trees and set the aircraft down in the trees. The passenger seated in the right front seat stated that before takeoff the pilot performed an engine check and it was running fine. During the takeoff roll the pilot pulled the aircraft up at about 65 miles per hour. He thought they were lifting off early for they still had over half of the runway left. The pilot pulled the nose up too steep and at about 300 feet the airplane began to stall and the left wing dropped. The pilot tried to gain speed by dropping the nose and leveling off. They did not have enough altitude and the airplane kept dropping and went into the trees. As far as he could tell there was nothing wrong with the airplane. Postcrash examination and testing of the airplane structure and flight control systems, airplane and engine fuel system, engine, propeller, fuel control, propeller governor, and the stall warning system switch showed no evidence of precrash failure or malfunction.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed during climb after takeoff resulting in an inadvertent stall, uncontrolled descent, and impact in a wooded area.

Full narrative available

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