NTSB Identification: CEN11CA526
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Saturday, July 23, 2011 in Cambridge, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/20/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-36-375, registration: N3963E
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 was departing on the first agricultural application flight of the day. He said that as he taxiing, he noticed the engine temperature rising, so he leaned the mixture. He completed his engine run-up and departed. He said that as the airplane was accelerating down the runway, he noticed the airplane was not developing enough power, but he had used up most of the runway and could not abort the takeoff. During climb, the airplane experienced a degrade in performance and struck terrain about 600 feet from the airport. The impact collapsed the landing gear and caused substantial damage to the airframe and elevator. The pilot reported that he inadvertently departed with the engine's mixture control lever at the halfway leaned setting. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane, and the accident could have been prevented if he had used a checklist.

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

The pilot's failure to reset the engine's mixture control lever to the full rich position prior to takeoff.

Full narrative available

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