NTSB Identification: CEN09FA393
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 26, 2009 in Lakeview, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N38171
Injuries: 3 Fatal,1 Serious,1 Minor.

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.

An employee who helped load the airplane thought it was “overloaded” and that the passengers seemed “tense" and “in a hurry to leave.” The pilot made a flaps-up takeoff. It was calculated that at takeoff, the airplane was 188 pounds over maximum certificated gross weight, and the aft c.g. limit was exceeded by 0.15 inches. It was calculated that the flaps up takeoff ground roll would be approximately 1,970 feet, and the flaps up takeoff distance over a 50-foot barrier would be approximately 3,190 feet. The grass runway was 3,200 feet long. Prior to takeoff, the pilot told a surviving passenger that they were going to need all of the runway for takeoff. The passenger said the airplane lifted off at the end of the runway, dropped down into a shallow valley, touched the ground, and lifted off again. It touched down a second time, hit a barbed wire fence and tree, and “rolled” several times. Witnesses said the airplane lifted off in a nose high attitude, disappeared into a shallow valley, then reappeared in a slight climb. The wings were "wig-wagging" and the airplane was "porpoising." GPS data indicates the airplane lifted off between 74 and 78 mph and climbed no more than 29 feet. A videotape of the takeoff corroborated witness' observations. Post-accident examination of the airplane and engine did not reveal any evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

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

The pilot's poor judgment/decision making in attempting the no-flap takeoff, his failure to comply with weight and balance limitations, and his failure to calculate the airplane's performance under exiting conditions.

Full narrative available

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