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N9181P accident description

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Crash location 46.127778°N, 85.941666°W
Nearest city Blaney Park, MI
46.115535°N, 85.927068°W
1.1 miles away
Tail number N9181P
Accident date 19 May 2003
Aircraft type Piper PA-24-260
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 19, 2003, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-24-260, N9181P, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees, while on approach to runway 16 (3,000 feet by 90 feet, macadam) at a private airstrip near Blaney Park, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported minor injuries. The flight departed Pontiac, Michigan, at 1215.

The pilot reported he encountered a "sudden sink rate" while descending to land at the private airstrip. The pilot noted he was at 125 to 150 feet above ground level when the airplane began the uncontrolled descent. The pilot stated he increased power and applied backpressure to the yoke. The pilot indicated the airplane continued to descend into a line of trees 75 to 100 feet from the end of the runway. The pilot reported the airplane impacted the trees and subsequently the terrain short of the runway. The pilot noted the airplane slid 15 to 20 feet and pivoted to the right about 180 degrees.

The pilot reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures during the accident flight.

At 1557, a weather reporting station at Schoolcraft County Airport (ISQ), 13 nautical miles to the west-southwest of the accident site, reported the winds from 210 degrees at 10 knots, gusting to 14 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the tree line. Factors contributing to this accident were the wind gusts and the trees.

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