NTSB Identification: FTW98LA105.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 23, 1998 in JUSTIN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 140A, registration: N377V
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.

The pilot was taking off north from a 1,500 foot grass airstrip. The non-rated passenger, who was seated in the left seat, stated that 'the tail wheel came up at the midpoint of the airstrip.' The pilot added that the airplane became airborne with a little less than 1/3 of the runway remaining. During initial climb, the main landing gear struck the top of a 4 strand barbed wire fence at the end of the airstrip. The airplane decelerated and touched down in a muddy plowed field just north of the airstrip boundary. After rolling about 40 yards, the main landing gear tires sank in the soft ground, and the airplane nosed over. In a telephone interview after the accident, the pilot added that due to recent rains, the north-south grass airstrip was 'soggy and mushy,' but he thought the airplane would have had no problem clearing the marked 4 foot tall barbed wire fence at the departure end of the airstrip.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision and failure to ensure that the airplane would be able to remain clear of the fence during takeoff. Factors relating to the accident were: the wet/soft/short runway (and terrain) conditions.

Full narrative available

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