Aug. 2, Taberg, N.Y. / Piper Cherokee


At about 13:00 eastern time, a Piper PA-28-180 was substantially damaged while departing a private grass strip. The pilot sustained minor injuries and three passengers were not injured. The pilot reported that, while en route to Albany, the airplanes upper door latch opened and the pilot intended to perform a precautionary landing at Becks Grove Airport in Rome to secure the door. The pilot was receiving VFR flight following from Griffiss ATC and was asked if he had Becks Grove in sight. The pilot asked the controller if the airport was a grass strip and the controller replied in the affirmative. The pilot landed on a 1,500-foot-long private grass strip that was located about 2 miles north of Becks Grove. The pilot secured the door and attempted to depart the grass strip to the east. On the second takeoff attempt – reportedly downwind – the airplane took off lethargically and continued beyond the runway and over a gully, where it settled and impacted terrain.


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