NTSB Identification: CHI97LA011.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 19, 1996 in EDEN, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Aero Commander 685, registration: N58RG
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to takeoff from a private turf airstrip (1400'x 90'), the pilot adjusted the left engine's fuel pump. On takeoff roll the left engine began surging. The pilot continued the takeoff. The pilot lifted off at approximately 1000' and pulled back on the yoke to get over the trees on the left side of the airstrip. The airplane drifted to the left. The pilot said he stalled the airplane and should have pushed the yoke forward to gain airspeed. The Pilot Operating Handbook indicted a takeoff roll of approximately 2,500 feet was needed on a dry paved surface.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

a partial loss of engine power due to improper adjustment of the fuel pump by an unqualified person (pilot-in-command) and the pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in his selection of unsuitable terrain for the attempted takeoff. The pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the airplane and the trees were factors.

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