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ICAO4U – aviation language Piper Hitting the Ground at Takeoff.

Piper Hitting the Ground at Takeoff.

The private pilot lost control of the Piper PA32 at takeoff at the airport in Hereford, Texas.

  • sustain serious injuries 
  • have no memory of … 


The plane hit the ground near the departure end of the runway and was destroyed. All four people aboard the plane sustained serious injuries. The pilot reported she had no memory of her preflight activity or takeoff.

  • attitude
  • at full power

A witness observed the airplane in a nose-high, tail-low attitude during the takeoff, but lost sight of the airplane behind hangars. He noted that the engine sounded like it was at full power.

  • reveal indication
  • lenght sufficient for takeoff 

Data recovered from an onboard engine monitor did not reveal any indication of a loss of engine power during takeoff.  Performance data indicated that the available runway length was sufficient for takeoff.

  • stall
  • result in …
  • exceedance 
  • angle of attack

It is likely that the pilot overrotated during takeoff and the airplane entered an aerodynamic stall, which resulted in the airplane departing controlled flight and hitting the ground.

Probable cause: The pilot’s exceedance of the airplane’s critical angle of attack during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

This September 2018 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.