On September 20, 1996, at 1406 central daylight time a Piper PA-38-112, N25920, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the terrain after departing the private airport. The pilot told inspectors that he departed with carburetor heat applied and was unable to maintain a climb. The pilot reported no injuries. The accident occurred at a private airport near Kearney, Missouri. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The flight was originating at the time of the accident with the intended destination of Polo, Missouri.

The airplane's last annual inspection was on March 2, 1995. The pilot could not establish his most recent biennial flight review. His most recent medical examination was on June 21, 1994.

On examination the spark plugs were found to be black with combustion deposits. The primer was found unlocked.

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