NTSB Identification: MIA97FA095.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 05, 1997 in MERIDIANVILLE, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna T210L, registration: N2142S
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During a weather briefing, the pilot was given weather advisories for occasional IFR conditions en route, en route turbulence, plus a tornado watch that was just to the east of his location, moving east. Pilot-witnesses observed the airplane taking off on runway 18. The pilot seemed to be in a rush. The male passenger commented to one of the witnesses '...that they had a limo rented for 7:30 [1930].' The witnesses did not observe any action on the part of the pilot that 'would [be] consider[ed] [a] pre flight.' In addition, '...[they] noticed...the wind was blowing hard-maybe 20 gusting 30-35 kts. [knots] from about 310 degrees.' The witnesses observed the airplane start the takeoff roll 'downwind.' The airplane accelerated and the engine sounded 'smooth.' After rolling about 1,000 feet, the airplane began to 'hop as if rotation was attempted too early, it then lifted off immediately, banked at least 45 degrees left-nose high- veered left.' The airplane went 'out of control...in a slight nose high, left turn, close to stall configuration, [and] looked real mushy....' The flight lifted off the ground about 5 feet, the right wing dropped, almost striking the runway, then the left wing dropped. The airplane departed the runway to the left, proceeded over the grass between the runway and the taxiway, struck a runway light, a tree, and burst into flames. The reported winds 12 miles southeast of the crash site, about the time of the accident, were from 300 degrees at 23 knots, with gusts to 30 knots.

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

the pilot's improper decision to takeoff downwind which resulted in his failure to maintain control of the airplane. The winds were a factor.

Full narrative available

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