NTSB Identification: CEN12LA441
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 14, 2012 in Elkader, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N1127X
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that the airplane touched down on the first third of the wet grass runway, but the braking action was ineffective. He stated that because of the ineffective braking action and the short runway length, he applied full engine power to abort the landing. He reported that although the airplane initially cleared trees located off the departure end of the runway, it was inexplicably pushed down into the tree line. The airplane came to rest in a 100-foot deep wooded ravine located off the departure end of the runway. The pilot noted that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation of the airplane. Based on the available weather radar data and witness observations, localized instrument flight rule conditions likely existed due to thunderstorms and heavy rain in the vicinity of the airport.
An on-site investigation found tire marks on the grass runway consistent with the tire width of the accident airplane. The first of these tire marks was more than halfway down the 1,705-foot-long runway, about 741 feet from the departure end. These tire tracks continued past the departure threshold until a point where the terrain sloped away from the runway elevation, indicating that the airplane had not become airborne on the usable runway. The physical evidence was consistent with the airplane running off the end of the runway before descending into treetops that were at or below the runway elevation. Review of available performance data indicated that the expected landing distance for a wet grass runway would be in excess of 748 feet. The landing performance calculations established that there was sufficient runway available for a ground roll if the pilot had touched down within the first half of the runway.

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

The pilot's failure to attain the proper touchdown point while landing on the wet grass runway.

Full narrative available

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