NTSB Identification: ERA11CA027
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 18, 2010 in Titusville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N9247V
Injuries: 3 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 certificated flight instructor (CFI), the purpose of the flight was for the student pilot to perform a night cross-country. After completing a full stop landing at the destination airport, they taxied back to the runway to complete additional practice of flying in the traffic pattern. While on the takeoff roll, as the student pilot began to rotate the airplane airborne, the CFI observed an animal directly in front of the airplane on the centerline. He took authority of the flight controls in an attempt to not collide with animal as the airplane began the initial climb. He heard a "bang" as the airplane passed over what was later identified as a deer. The CFI then noticed the left rudder pedal was looser than normal and no brake pressure was observed in the left toe brake. After a few low passes and confirmation from the control tower personnel that the left landing gear was not in the normal position, the CFI decided to land the airplane. During landing rollout, the left wing struck the ground and the airplane came to rest on the runway. The postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the left landing gear had separated, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing spar. According to the CFI, no mechanical anomalies were present prior to hitting the deer.

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

An inadvertent collision with a deer during a night takeoff.

Full narrative available

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