On June 1, 1994, at 2000 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-28- 151, N32532, registered to the pilot's father, collided with a tree during initial climb from an uncontrolled dirt airstrip near Simi Valley, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the solo instructional flight, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the student pilot was not injured. The flight originated from the Santa Monica Municipal Airport, Santa Monica, California, at 1815.

The pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that as the airplane was lifting off, at an airspeed of about 70 knots, he drifted left of the runway and the airplane's left wing collided with a tree. Thereafter, the airplane spun around and hit the ground hard. The emergency locator transmitter (ELT) activated, and the airplane came to a stop adjacent to the airstrip pointed in the opposite direction from takeoff.

According to the pilot, there were no mechanical problems with the airplane, and the accident was just his "pilot error." Regarding the pilot's flying experience, the pilot reported that he had logged about 73.1 hours of dual flight instruction and about 16.5 hours of solo pilot flight time. The pilot reported that he last received a logbook endorsement for solo flying in November of 1993. His last flight in an airplane was in the accident airplane, and that flight was made with his flight instructor on January 12, 1994.

In the pilot's completed Aircraft Accident Report, NTSB Form 6120.1, he indicated that during the accident flight he had been practicing for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight examination.

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