A Piper PA-32 Non-Instrument Rated Pilot Takes off At Night In VMC Conditions


A Piper  PA-32 Non-Instrument Rated Pilot Takes off At Night In VMC Conditions.

On Feb-09-84 at Bluefield, WV a Piper  PA-32RT-300t aircraft crashes and kills 4. The non-instrument rated plt began his takeoff during the hours of darkness,  but in vmc wx. He stated that during the takeoff roll at about 65 to 75 kts just prior to rotation, the landing light extinguished. Plt stated that 2 to 3 seconds later, he rotated & due to the long nose of the acft, he lost sight of the rwy lights. He checked the instruments to keep the acft in a proper climb, but shortly thereafter, the left wing hit the top of a tall tree. The plt's father said he observed the acft entering a left turn after lift-off, then he lost sight of the plane.

The only surviving passenger said the eng sound remained constant, but the acft veered left after lift-off. Moments later, the acft collided with trees, crashed & burned. Initial impact occurred on a heading of 030 deg, about 500 ft left of the rwy. No preimpact /part failure or malfunction was found. The plt had been treated for glaucoma & had been denied a 3rd class medical certificate on 1/31/84, awaiting an eye evaluation. Arpt elev 2857 ft; crash site elev aprx 2400 ft probable cause: airplane handling not maintained. pilot in command contributing factors light condition. dark night visual/aural detection. pilot in command landing light(s).. Failure, total diverted attention. pilot in command object. tree(s)

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