NTSB Identification: CEN12FA188
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 18, 2012 in Mexico, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N158EA
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot and his wife were departing from a 2,600-foot, soft, grass strip with a quartering right tailwind. The grass height on the runway was between 6 and 10 inches high. The airplane departed about 1,900 feet down the runway, veered to the left, stalled, and collided with trees before it came to rest in a field. Interpolation of available takeoff performance revealed that the airplane would have needed about 2,312 feet of ground-roll distance for a successful takeoff from a paved, level, dry runway, with zero flaps, under the existing wind conditions. No mechanical deficiencies were found with the airplane or engine that would have precluded normal operation at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and subsequent collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight performance planning before departing on the soft, grass field with a quartering tailwind.

Full narrative available

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