The pilot reported that as he tried to take off in the Piper PA-28 from his turf airstrip in Auburn, Indiana, he attempted to force the airplane into the air.
After a brief ascent, the airplane descended to the ground and touched down hard.
The pilot continued the sequence of lifting off and then touching down again until he determined that he would not be able to clear the trees at the end of the runway.
He made a left turn, and the airplane traveled through two fields, hit a ditch, and collided with a barn. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot Aircraft Accident Report, the pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had aborted the takeoff after the first bounce.
The pilot added that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to continue to attempt to take off despite the airplane’s inability to attain a positive climb rate, which resulted in little runway remaining, and his subsequent decision to turn off the runway, which resulted in a collision with a barn.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA336
This June 2017 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.