NTSB Identification: ERA10LA247
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, April 23, 2010 in Clemson, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA 46-350P, registration: N364ST
Injuries: 1 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.

During the night takeoff roll, at an airspeed of about 60 knots, the pilot observed four to six brown animals traveling from left to right across the airplane's path. He felt a thump on the left side of the airplane, and he pulled back on the control column. The airplane became airborne and then another collision was felt. The pilot continued to increase the back pressure, but noticed that the airspeed was decreasing, and the stall warning horn was sounding. In response, he then reduced the back pressure. The airplane touched down on the main landing gear and pitched down until the propeller and fuselage contacted the runway. The airplane veered to the right and came to rest off the side of the runway. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that it struck several deer during the takeoff roll, resulting in substantial damage to the airplane. A wooded area of approximately 60 acres bounded the north side of the airport; it was not owned by the airport, and no fence separated the two. The airport director stated that deer regularly come on airport property to feed on the vegetation growing around the runway. He possessed a deer depredation permit to help eliminate deer strikes, but runway construction had temporarily precluded that activity. Information about the potential for the presence of deer at the airport was not incorporated into the airport's automated surface observing system (ASOS) broadcasts. The airport director was also attempting to obtain funding for a fence along the northern boundary of the airport. Subsequent to the accident, the text "Deer on and Inv of rwy" was added the Airport Remarks section of the airport's entry in the FAA Airport/Facility Directory.

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

The airplane's inadvertent collision with deer during a night takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the lack of a deer barrier between the airport and an adjacent wooded area.

Full narrative available

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