NTSB Identification: DEN06LA113.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 12, 2006 in Santa Fe, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-160, registration: N245TB
Injuries: 2 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.

Prior to takeoff, the run-up revealed no anomalies. After the pilot received takeoff clearance for runway 2 (8,342 feet long by 150 feet wide), he applied full power and checked the propeller controls to confirm they were full forward. The pilot reported, "After a few seconds of full power, it seemed the aircraft was sluggish to develop airspeed in order to reach rotation speed of 64 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). [The pilot] assumed it was due to the density altitude and full fuel." After rotation at "red line Vx speed," the pilot lowered the airplane's nose in an attempt to obtain "blue line" airspeed; however, the airplane would not accelerate beyond Vx speed. The pilot felt "the engines were not producing full power." Subsequently, the pilot elected to abort the takeoff and attempted to land back on the remaining runway. The aircraft landed on the runway with the gear retracted. The pilot noted no anomalies on the engine instruments during the attempted takeoff. Examination of the airframe and engines revealed no anomalies. The calculated density altitude was 8,180 feet mean sea level. According to the NTSB Pilot Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), Recommendation (How could this accident have been prevented) section, the pilot reported, "Should have aborted take off earlier on ground roll."

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

the pilot's improper decision to continue the attempted takeoff when Vx airspeed was not obtained, and failure to abort the takeoff during ground roll which resulted in an impact on the remaining runway with the landing gear retracted. A contributing factor was the high density altitude.

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