NTSB Identification: CHI97LA257.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 14, 1997 in ELWOOD, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Cessna A188B, registration: N731GE
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot said that before takeoff, he loaded the airplane with 130 gallons of water and chemical, placing the airplane near it's maximum restricted operating gross weight of 4,200 pounds. 'The temperature was about 80 degrees with high humidity from rain the night before.' The wind was light out of the west. 'I started my takeoff roll to the north on the grass runway, rolled 1,000 feet, and brought the tail up.' The pilot said he rolled another 500 feet, lowered five degrees of flaps, and started to lift off of the ground. 'The plane settled back down.' The pilot lowered the flaps to 10 degrees and tried to lift off again, but the airplane would not take off. 'The airplane impacted a bank with brush on it at the end of the runway.' Examination of the wreckage revealed no anomalies. The Cessna A188B Owner's Manual states that for airplanes operated in the restricted category, 'Take-off performance at these gross weights is limited, and ideal field elevation, runway, and weather conditions are expected to exist in obtaining satisfactory take-off performance. Operation from fields in excess of 1,000 above sea level, rough or soft runways, adverse runway gradients, high outside air temperature, turbulence, etc., may prevent a safe take-off at these gross weights. All of these things must be considered by the operator.' The manual also states that, 'The optimum flap setting for take-off at the maximum restricted category gross weight with dispersal equipment installed is 10-degrees.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot not maintaining clearance from the bushes. Factors contributing to this accident were the pilot's inadequate preparation prior to the takeoff attempt, his changing flap positions during the takeoff run which degraded the airplane's performance further, and the bushes. Full narrative available
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