NTSB Identification: MIA01LA013.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 22, 2000 in Knoxville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N53512
Injuries: 3 Serious.

NTSB investigators may 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 engaged 10 degrees of flaps, held the brakes and applied full power, but the takeoff roll was extremely bumpy, and the airplane was not accelerating as it should, and the remaining available runway was decreasing. He said there were trees at the end of the runway, but he did not feel that he could have applied the brakes and stop the takeoff roll without running into them, so he continued the takeoff. The pilot further stated that he felt that the airplane's acceleration was being impeded by the cracks on the runway which had grass growing in them, so he decided to transition to a soft field takeoff. He said that initially the climbout was "okay", but the proximity and height of the trees required that he maintain approximately 60 knots, and at that airspeed the aircraft seemed less and less responsive. He said he attempted to lower the pitch to increase the airspeed a couple of times during the climbout, but the aircraft seemed less and less responsive. According to the pilot, the "plane failed to provide the necessary lift in order to continue the climbout, and nose-dived to the ground." A witness stated that he saw the accident aircraft rotate at the midfield point, and it remained in an extreme nose-up attitude during climbout. He said he then saw the aircraft "mush", after which the left wing rose briefly, and the aircraft turned to the left, and descended, impacting the ground. An FAA Inspector, along with representatives from Cessna Aircraft Company, and Textron Lycoming Company, conducted postcrash examinations of the accident aircraft, and no preaccident failures or malfunctions were found with the aircraft structure, the flight control system, or the engine.The inspector further stated that the pilot had elected to take off using an upsloping runway, towards rising terrain, with trees at the end of the runway. The wind velocity was about 4 knots at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain Vs during takeoff/initial climb, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush, an uncontrolled descent, and an impact with the ground. Factors in the accident were the pilot's improper preflightplanning/preparation and failure to verify takeoff performance prior to executing a takeoff upslope on a rough/uneven runway.

Full narrative available

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