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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 174944
Last updated: 25 April 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BE35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Beech 35 Bonanza
Registration: N80462
C/n / msn: D-62
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 4
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Near Cedar Mills Airport (3T0), Gordonville, TX -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Gordonville, TX (3T0)
Destination airport:Tyler, TX (TYR)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The commercial pilot and three passengers were departing in the single-engine airplane from a 3,000-ft-long grass runway. The pilot reported that he thought that the windsock showed light and variable winds. He considered taking off downhill toward a lake, but because of the possibility of a tailwind after passing the tree line, he chose to do a soft field takeoff uphill. The airplane lifted off at an indicated airspeed of 80 mph. As it neared the departure end of the runway, the pilot noticed that the airplane was not climbing as expected, the indicated airspeed seemed unreliable, and the controls felt mushy and near stall speed. Witnesses stated that the airplane traveled about halfway down the runway before it became airborne. One witness stated that he didn't think the engine speed was right and that the airplane was gaining altitude slowly. The other witness reported that the airplane wasn't gaining any altitude and that the engine sounded "strong," and did not cut out. The airplane collided with trees and a building just beyond the runway before impacting terrain. An examination of the airplane did not reveal any pre-impact abnormalities.

Given the pilot's reported weight and the weight of the 28 gallons of fuel that the pilot reported were onboard, the airplane had a remaining useful load of 379 lbs to account for the 3 other passengers. Therefore, it is likely that the airplane was operating at or near its maximum gross weight at the time of the accident. With the additional factors of an upsloping, grass runway, the airplane's performance would have been degraded and the takeoff distance required would likely have been significantly increased.

Although the pilot's operating handbook for the airplane did not contain information about takeoff performance from unpaved runways, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidance states that any surface that is not hard and smooth increases the ground roll during takeoff due to the inability of the tires to roll smoothly along the runway. FAA guidance also states that the effect of an airplane's gross weight on takeoff distance is significant. Increased gross weight produces several effects on takeoff performance, including higher lift-off speed, greater mass to accelerate, and an increased retarding force (drag and ground friction). The pilot's decision to take off without accounting for the runway condition and the airplane's gross weight on takeoff performance resulted in a long takeoff ground roll, reduced climb capability, and impact with trees at the end of the runway.

Probable Cause: The pilot's decision to depart from an upsloping, grass runway at or near the airplane's maximum gross weight, which resulted in impact with trees and terrain during takeoff.



FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 8 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

30-Mar-2015 00:14 Geno Added
30-Mar-2015 16:11 bovine Updated [Time, Registration, Operator, Source]
30-Mar-2015 16:21 Geno Updated [Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
31-Mar-2015 00:33 Geno Updated [Phase, Nature, Source]
07-Apr-2015 22:18 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
28-Nov-2018 14:42 ASN Update Bot Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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