NTSB Identification: NYC06LA197.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 06, 2006 in Bellefonte, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-350P, registration: N9227U
Injuries: 6 Uninjured.

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 airport elevation was 1,071 feet msl, and the density altitude at the time of the accident was approximately 2,487 feet msl. During a high gross weight normal takeoff procedure, from a 3,640-foot-long asphalt runway, at 79 degrees F., the airplane became airborne at 80 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). The nose rose higher than needed, most likely due to elevator trim setting, which required the pilot to push forward on the yoke. The airplane accelerated to 90 knots, but did not initially climb out of ground effect, and then began a very slow climb. During the slow climb, the pilot elected to "clean up" the airplane by retracting the landing gear and the 10 degrees of flap extension. The airplane subsequently sank at the end of the runway, and the pilot decided to abort the takeoff. A test run of the engine revealed that it was producing about 4.5 percent less than the maximum Brake Horsepower (BHP). Examination of the engine revealed that the throttle adjustment was not correct, per a manufacturer service instruction. During a recent annual inspection, the throttle was adjusted, but there was no record of the manufacturer service instruction being utilized. Although the make and model airplane flight manual (AFM) checklist did not specify climb performance with regards to flap retraction during a normal takeoff, the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook suggested that the flaps should be retracted once a positive rate of climb is established. For short field takeoffs, the Airplane Flying Handbook stated that the flaps and landing gear should remain the takeoff position until clear of obstacles and Vy has been established. When the Vy has stabilized, the gear and then the flaps should be retracted. It advised to raise the flaps in increments to avoid sudden loss of lift and settling of the airplane. The Vy for the accident airplane was 110 knots.

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

Improper maintenance of the throttle linkage, which resulted in a lack of engine power during takeoff. Factors were the pilot's premature retraction of the flaps, an improper elevator trim setting, a high gross takeoff weight, and a high density altitude; which resulted in settling during the initial climb and a subsequent emergency landing after takeoff.

Full narrative available

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