NTSB Identification: ERA10CA114
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 14, 2010 in Collegedale, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N43421
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 airplane was departing from runway 3, a 4,700-foot-long, 75-foot-wide, asphalt runway, during night visual meteorological conditions. The pilot reported that he lost sight of outside visual references after takeoff due to darkness, and that he was not initially aware that the airplane was turning to the left. He added that he momentarily "did not pay attention" to the airplane's instruments, and that when he realized that the airplane was turning it was "too late." The airplane struck trees located off the left side of the runway, and impacted the ground. After the pilot exited a postcrash fire substantially consumed the airplane. The pilot did not report any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The pilot's logbook was consumed by fire.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the initial climb after takeoff in dark light conditions.

Full narrative available

Index for Jan2010 | Index of months