NTSB Identification: ERA10CA366
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 18, 2010 in Buckhead, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: PIPER J-3C, registration: N98342
Injuries: 1 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.

The pilot stated that he departed from his private airstrip on a local area flight. He observed thunderstorms approaching the area and the winds were increasing, so he returned to the airstrip for landing. On final approach, he noticed that some children had left a gate open and his miniature donkeys were crossing the runway. He added power to go around, but the airplane would not climb. The airplane encountered a downdraft and collided vertically with trees and the ground. Examination of the airframe, flight controls and engine assembly and accessories revealed no anomalies. Weather radar data indicated that the area overhead the accident site was associated with dissipating echoes, which were decreasing in area coverage and in intensity with time, and implied a dissipating rain shower that would be typical of prevailing downdraft activity.

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

An in-flight encounter with a downdraft during a go-around, resulting in a collision with trees and the ground.

Full narrative available

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