NTSB Identification: ERA12LA335
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 13, 2012 in South Canaan, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2012
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N98568
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
After flying passengers throughout the day, the pilot attempted to take off once again from the turf runway. However, during the last takeoff roll, the airplane was slow to accelerate, and the takeoff point was farther along the runway than usual. After the airplane became airborne, the pilot thought that it would not clear trees at the end of the runway, so he reduced power, lowered the nose, and applied left rudder to force the airplane back on the ground. The pilot subsequently thought that the airplane's left brake might have been binding because he had to use right rudder to maintain a straight track down the runway. However, no preexisting mechanical anomalies were noted with the airplane. A carburetor probability icing chart revealed the probability of severe carburetor icing at idle power; however, the pilot stated that he had utilized carburetor heat while taxiing the airplane and had removed it just prior to takeoff. Neighbors, who did not see the airplane but did hear its engine rev up, noted rapid and intense wind shifts, similar to destructive winds they had seen once before in the area. The shifting winds then ceased shortly after the airplane's engine stopped making noise.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff during shifting wind conditions. Full narrative available
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