NTSB Identification: LAX06FA082.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 08, 2006 in Mammoth Lakes, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-235, registration: N9124W
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 rolled right and collided with terrain during the initial climb after takeoff. A surviving passenger said that the takeoff and initial climb rate seemed normal. The passenger reported that about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes into the flight, the airplane, unexpectedly and without warning, went hard right and pitched straight down into the ground. Ground witnesses said that the airplane was 150 to 200 feet above the ground, and did not appear to gain any additional altitude. One witness, on an access road just north of the airport, had a profile view of the airplane during the majority of the accident sequence. He reported an "excessive" angle of attack on the takeoff. He saw the nose pitch down, and thought the airplane was about 100 feet above the ground. The witness then saw the nose pitch up again, increasing the angle of attack. The pitch attitude was steep; the witness said he was able to see the tops of the wings. He stated that the airplane flew straight ahead under controlled conditions, but appeared to be "mushing" through the air. He lost sight of the airplane as he rounded a bend in the road. When he saw the airplane again it was in a left descending spiral. Investigators found no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation of the airframe or engine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed resulting in a stall/spin. Full narrative available
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