June 18, 2011, Guntersville, Ala., Piper PA-28-140


At about 0950 Central time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and the ground following takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured; one passenger was seriously injured.

Before the attempted takeoff, 35.8 gallons of aviation fuel were added. According to several eyewitnesses, the airplane became airborne about two-thirds of the way down the runway. It then pitched up to a nose-high attitude, leveled, pitched up again to approximately the same pitch attitude, and subsequently appeared to have a “high sink rate” as it descended behind a tree line.


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