NTSB Identification: DFW06CA133.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 19, 2006 in La Porte, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N2378K
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The 150-hour solo student pilot lost control of the single-engine airplane while attempting a short field takeoff from runway 30 with a prevailing 15 knot tailwind. According to the owner/operator of the airplane, the pilot reported that he was following another aircraft to runway 30 for takeoff. The operator added that the pilot performed an intersection takeoff instead of using all available runway because the aircraft he was following blocked his access. During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the student pilot stated that after takeoff he allowed his airspeed to deteriorate and the stall horn activated. The pilot added that he elected to "crash" straight ahead after he realized that the airplane could not accelerate or climb. Investigation of the accident site by the FAA inspector revealed that the airplane touched down in the wings level attitude, about 76 feet from the departure end of the runway and impacted a chain link fence before coming to rest in the inverted position approximately 340 feet from the departure end of runway 30. According to eyewitnesses interviewed by the FAA inspector, the windsock was indicating a surface wind of at least 15 knots from approximately 160 degrees when the aircraft departed the 4,165-foot long by 75-foot wide runway. The nearest weather reporting station, located approximately 7 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, reported winds from 130 degrees at 10 knots. Another weather reporting station, located approximately 12 miles west of the accident site reported winds from 170 degrees at 11 knots. The student pilot failed to return a completed NTSB Form 6120.1 to the Investigator in Change (IIC).
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The student pilot's inadequate weather evaluation and his failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in a stall. A contributing factor was the prevailing tailwind. Full narrative available
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