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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA16LA212
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 12, 2016 in Taylorsville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/18/2019
Aircraft: PIPER PA28RT, registration: N42JA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 commercial pilot was attempting to take off from a 1,750-ft-long tall grass runway with a 4-knot tailwind. About one-quarter of the way down the runway, a witness heard the engine sputtering and observed that the airplane seemed slow. The witness radioed the pilot and asked him if he was going to reject the takeoff, but the pilot did not respond. The airplane rotated and climbed briefly, then descended and impacted downward-sloping terrain about 500 ft below and 250 yards beyond the departure end of the runway. The airplane came to rest inverted in a wooded area and was mostly consumed by a postcrash fire, the damage from which precluded an engine examination.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's improper decision to continue a takeoff with a partial loss of engine power that occurred early in the takeoff roll. The reason for the partial loss of engine power could not be determined because postaccident fire damage to the engine precluded an examination.