NTSB Identification: CHI04FA205.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 02, 2004 in Point Lookout, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: N4230R
Injuries: 5 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 destroyed during a post-impact fire after it overran the end of the runway on departure. A witness to the accident reported that he heard the accident airplane on the runway "with the engine wide open." He reported that when he first saw the aircraft it was airborne and initially thought it was landing. He noted that it touched back down on the runway. He stated the "engine [was] making a lot of power" when he heard the tires begin to skid. He reported: "I saw the airplane swerve on the runway and heard the skid of tires. I then observed what appeared to be a Piper Cherokee Six turn to the right and skid off the right end of runway 11 and sink into the trees and ditch by highway 65." He estimated the aircraft's speed as 55 miles per hour at this time. A second witness stated that he saw the airplane "losing control." He reported that smoke was coming from the tires, with a "screeching sound also, like the brakes were locked up." He noted that a couple seconds later the braking stopped and "immediately there was a skidding noise like metal on the pavement. The plane then started to lean or tilt towards my direction. There was a little bounce [and] skip [and] the plane went over the end into the trees." The aircraft came to rest in a ravine, approximately 215 feet from the end of the runway. The accident site was approximately 47 feet below the runway elevation. Tire skid marks were visible beginning 929 feet from the end of the runway. The initial mark was located near the runway centerline. The marks proceeded toward the right side of the runway, eventually departing the pavement about 331 feet from the embankment at the end of the runway. After the point where the marks departed the right edge of the runway pavement, a pair of ruts was observed in the grass to the taxiway apron adjacent to the runway. Skid marks crossed the apron and continued as ruts in the gravel area between the end of the taxiway pavement and the embankment. A post-accident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies associated with a pre-impact failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure attain adequate flying speed and his delay in aborting the takeoff which resulted in premature liftoff and an overrun of the runway. Contributing factors were the descending embankment, trees and ravine. Full narrative available
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