NTSB Identification: ERA10CA355
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 05, 2010 in Warrenton, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N33554
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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.

According to the pilot, he was taking off from runway 2, a 2,000-foot-long, 150-foot wide, turf runway. About halfway down the runway, at an altitude of 80 to 100 feet above ground level, the pilot realized that the airplane "was not climbing particularly well." The pilot elected to perform a precautionary landing because the airplane was not going to clear trees located near the end of the runway. He turned the airplane and attempted to land it in a field to the right of the grass strip. The pilot stated that he had a "rough landing," substantially damaging the left wing of the airplane. The pilot further stated the preflight and engine run-up were "good" before the accident flight. He commented that the decreased performance of the airplane was due to the hot and humid day, the airplane was full of fuel, and he had a passenger in the airplane. The pilot noted that his total flight experience was approximately 200 hours; of which, about 125 hours were in the same make and model as the accident airplane. The recorded weather at an airport located 2 miles north of the accident site, included winds from 300 degrees at 7 knots, clear skies, and a temperature of 33 degrees C.

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

The pilot's improper flare during a precautionary landing, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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