NTSB Identification: LAX05FA262.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 08, 2005 in Big Bear City, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235, registration: N8540W
Injuries: 2 Fatal,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.

The airplane made a sudden steep turn to the right, rolled inverted, and impacted the ground just after the landing flare. Witnesses observed the airplane make a normal landing approach to runway 08 and flare. The engine suddenly went to full power, the nose pitched up, and the plane abruptly turned to the right. It then continued to roll right and impacted the ground inverted at the south edge of the airport boundary. The airplane's sudden turn and right roll is consistent with the result of a cross-control stall to the right, as described by the Airplane Flying Handbook. Two witnesses stated that they saw an airplane takeoff from runway 26 (in the opposite direction) moments after the crash. Approximately 5 minutes after the accident radar data identified a contact 2 miles east of the airport, traveling at 85 knots, departing the vicinity. Four minutes would be the approximate amount of time required for an airplane traveling at 85 knots to perform a downwind departure from the airport and appear on radar 2 miles to the east, if it followed the approximate 5.5-mile downwind departure route. Radar coverage to pattern altitude was not possible due to the mountainous terrain in which the airport is located. Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of a preimpact malfunction or failure of the control system or power plant.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and adequate airspeed while executing an evasive maneuver during an aborted landing, which resulted in a cross-controlled accelerated stall and impact with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the probable presence of another aircraft on the runway traveling in the opposite direction.

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