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N3542N accident description

Arkansas map... Arkansas list
Crash location 34.442222°N, 91.675834°W
Nearest city Stugartt, AR
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Tail number N3542N
Accident date 11 Jun 2006
Aircraft type Piper J3C-65
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 11, 2006, approximately 1935 central daylight time, a single-engine Piper J3C-65 airplane, sustained substantial damage upon collision with high brush and terrain while on take off from a private airstrip near Stugartt, Arkansas. The private pilot and the passenger were seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector performed an on-scene examination of the airplane. According to the inspector, the 256-hour private pilot and the passenger were attempting to takeoff from a 1,200-foot-long grass airstrip when the airplane collided with 10-to-14 foot-high brush. The 1947 vintage airplane then traveled across a 14-foot-wide drainage ditch located beyond the departure end of the runway before it came to rest in the inverted position in an open field. Examination of the airplane revealed that the throttle was in the "idle" position and both propeller blades were bent aft. The outside air temperature at the time of the accident was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and both occupants reportedly weighed in excess of 200 pounds.

The Piper Aircraft Company did not publish take-off performance data for this make/model airplane. The investigator-in-charge calculated the density altitude at 2,396 feet at the time of the accident.

The Safety Board mailed copies of the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, Pilot/Operator Accident Report, to the pilot on two separate occasions; however, he did not return a completed copy by the time this report was prepared.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from high brush during takeoff. Contributing factors were the short runway and the high density altitude.

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