NTSB Identification: ATL98LA027.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 19, 1997 in MONTICELLO, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/31/1998
Aircraft: American AA-1, registration: N5789L
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 stated that he taxied to the end of the 2,000 foot long runway, and performed a run-up. During takeoff, he advanced the throttle full forward and began the takeoff roll. The aircraft accelerated and lifted off into ground effect. The pilot said he flew in ground effect, but the aircraft did not accelerate and climb as expected. At the end of the runway, he pulled up, but the airplane stalled (mushed) into trees. According to the pilot, he believed the accident could have been avoided if he had departed from an airport with a longer runway. According to an FAA inspector, the pilot attempted to takeoff from a strip covered with wet grass that was 7 to 8 inches tall. The Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) showed that a takeoff distance of 1615 feet was needed to clear a 50 foot obstacle during takeoff from a hard surfaced runway, at maximum gross weight, with flaps up, wind zero, and sea level conditions. There was no chart for takeoff performance from a grass strip.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation, and failure to ensure that the airplane would be able to clear trees during takeoff. Related factors were: the high/wet vegetation on the grass runway, and the proximity of trees to the runway.

Full narrative available

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