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N8335Y accident description

West Virginia map... West Virginia list
Crash location 38.797777°N, 82.074167°W
Nearest city Henderson, WV
38.833692°N, 82.138200°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N8335Y
Accident date 31 Jan 2006
Aircraft type Piper PA-28-181
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On January 31, 2006, about 1015 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, N8335Y, was substantially damaged when it struck wires, and then impacted the ground, during the initial climb after takeoff from a field in Henderson, West Virginia. The certificated commercial pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight destined for Canton, Ohio. The flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, witnesses reported that the pilot conducted a forced landing to the field, which was parallel to State Route 35, on January 29, 2006, due to fuel exhaustion. On the day of the accident, the pilot added approximately 6 gallons of fuel to the airplane, and attempted to takeoff through a corn field and parking lot. Approximately 550 feet from the point at which the airplane began the takeoff roll, the left wing struck a 6-foot tall, 4 by 4-inch wooden pole. The airplane veered to the left, and started to climb; however, the airplane subsequently pitched down and impacted power lines. The airplane's left wing was severed at the root, and it impacted the ground nose first. The airplane came to rest in a nearly vertical position.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. The airplane's left wing contacted the pole about 2.5 feet inboard of the wingtip. The airplane came to rest about 1,400 feet from the point where the pilot began the takeoff roll. The property owner reported that the pilot was aware of the pole prior to takeoff. The pilot had painted a red makeshift centerline on the ground; however, the airplane drifted left of the marked centerline during the takeoff roll.

The airplane had been operated for about 10 hours since its most recent annual inspection, which was performed on September 25, 2005.

The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for drugs and alcohol for the pilot.

The pilot also held a flight instructor certificate with instrument instructor privileges for single-engine land airplanes. He reported 1,030 hours of total flight experience on his most recent application for an FAA first class medical certificate, which was issued on April 23, 2005.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's improper decision to attempt the off-airport takeoff; and his improper decision to continue the takeoff after striking a pole during the takeoff roll.

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