NTSB Identification: CHI89DEC04.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42006.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 23, 1989 in ROCHESTER HILLS, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/1992
Aircraft: BRIDGES LONG-EZ, registration: N642JB
Injuries: 1 Minor.

THE PILOT STATED THAT THE NOSE GEAR STRUCK SOMETHING ON THE RUNWAY DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL. THERE WERE CHUNKS OF GRAVEL AND ASPHALT ON THE FIRST 800 FT OF THE RUNWAY. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO RETRACT THE NOSE GEAR BUT COULD NOT GET A FULL RETRACTION SO HE ELECTED TO FLY WITH IT PARTIALLY EXTENDED. A POWER REDUCTION WAS MADE TO 2000 RPM AT WHICH TIME THE AIRPLANE BEGAN TO VIOLENTLY VIBRATE. THE PILOT EXTENDED THE NOSE GEAR AND SHUT THE ENGINE DOWN IN PREPARATION FOR LANDING. THE NOSE GEAR COLLAPSED DURING THE LANDING. WITNESSES REPORTED SEEING SOMETHING FALLING FROM THE AIRPLANE DURING FLIGHT. EXAMINATION REVEALED A 20 INCH SECTION OF ONE PROPELLER BLADE WAS MISSING. THE WOODEN PROPELLER HAD A HISTORY OF DAMAGE WITH THE REPAIRS MADE BY THE PILOT.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO TAKEOFF FROM UNSUITABLE TERRAIN WHICH RESULTED IN DAMAGE TO THE PROPELLER AND NOSE GEAR.

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