NTSB Identification: WPR12CA083
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 26, 2012 in Santa Barbara, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/02/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-181, registration: N4297S
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.

The pilot reported that, after aligning the airplane with the runway centerline and adding full power for takeoff, the airplane accelerated and then began to veer left. The pilot immediately added right rudder to correct for the deviation, but the airplane did not respond to the control input. He then reduced power to abort the takeoff, but, seeing runway signs in his path, he added full power again in an attempt to get airborne to avoid colliding with the signs. After becoming airborne, the airplane impacted a sign with its right main landing gear and right stabilator, which resulted in substantial damage to the airplane. Neither the pilot nor a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, who examined the airplane after the accident, reported any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or anomalies.

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

The pilot did not maintain directional control during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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