NTSB Identification: WPR13FA041
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 15, 2012 in Morgan, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/2014
Aircraft: AMERICAN AA-1, registration: N5642L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

A witness reported that the airplane took off just before sunrise and that the engine sounded normal. During climbout, the airplane impacted rising terrain about 3 miles from the airport and about 776 feet above field elevation. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. A review of the recorded meteorological data showed that the weather conditions were conducive to frost formation. Further, a witness at the airport reported observing frost on the surfaces of parked airplanes on the day of the accident. Therefore, it is likely that the airplane had frost on its surfaces before takeoff and that the pilot failed to adequately clear the frost off the airplane during the preflight inspection, which increased drag and reduced the production of lift; therefore, the airplane was unable to gain sufficient altitude to clear the rising terrain.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in frost remaining on the airplane's surfaces and led to its inability to produce enough lift to clear rising terrain.

Full narrative available

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