NTSB Identification: FTW98LA082.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 13, 1997 in POCAHONTAS, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Mooney M20, registration: N6159E
Injuries: 2 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.

During the takeoff roll, the Mooney M20 airplane 'suddenly' turned to the left, skidded sideways, went off the runway into the grass, and came to a stop in a drainage ditch. The pilot reported that he was initially able to correct for the left turn and bring the airplane back to the right side of the runway. However, at about this point, he 'may have inadvertently' applied the brakes. Subsequently, the airplane 'went into [a] skid sideways.' The private pilot had accumulated 135 hours of flight time, of which 13 hours were in a Mooney M20 airplane. He had made approximately 25 takeoffs and landings in the accident airplane; however, he had not flown the airplane during the 30 days preceding the accident.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain directional control of the airplane during the takeoff roll, which resulted in an inadvertent ground swerve. A related factor was: the pilot's lack of recent experience in the make and model of airplane.

Full narrative available

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