NTSB Identification: NYC06LA228.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 22, 2006 in Orient, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N4459M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot estimated that the winds were out of the west at 15 knots and gusting. During the takeoff, the pilot was not sure at what speed he rotated the airplane. The airplane as it broke the water, and about 500 to 700 feet above the ground, the pilot banked the airplane left. The right wing then "lifted up," the nose of the airplane pitched down, and the airplane was "thrown to the ground." During the descent control inputs to the aileron, rudder, and elevator were ineffective. The airplane impacted trees and caught fire. The pilot did not note any problems with the engine during the flight. The passenger stated that after takeoff, and at an altitude of 150 feet, the pilot initiated a shallow left turn. A gust of wind then "lifted the aircraft up," but he did not notice any unusual pitch changes. Witnesses observed the airplane takeoff at a high pitch angle, before it turned and impacted trees in a wings level descent. Examination of the wreckage did not reveal evidence of any preimpact mechanical abnormalities. At the time of the accident the airplane was loaded more than 180 pounds beyond its maximum gross weight of 1,750 pounds.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during the initial climb which resulted in an inadvertent stall. A factor was his inadequate weight and balance calculations and the gusty wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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