NTSB Identification: IAD02LA032.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 16, 2002 in HARWINTON, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2002
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N81072
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to take-off, the pilot performed an engine run-up, and used a checklist to prepare the airplane for a normal take-off. The pilot said that the elevator trim was set to the take-off position, flight control continuity was performed, the flaps were retracted, and the engine run-up was normal. He then lined the airplane up on the runway, applied full power, and rotated at 65 knots. As the airplane began to climb, the pilot said that he tried to maintain 65 knots. When the airplane reached an altitude of approximately 40-50 feet above the ground, the left wing dropped and the stall horn came on. The stall horn remained on as the airplane turned to the left and collided with trees. Examination of the Gulfstream American AA-5B Tiger Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) revealed that for a normal take-off a pilot should, "accelerate to 50 KIAS before applying a light back pressure on the control wheel to lift off the nose wheel...When airborne, accelerate to the desired climb speed." According to the POH, the best angle of climb speed was 70 knots and normal climb out speed was 90 knots. Examination of the airplane revealed that there were no mechanical deficiencies.

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

pilot's failure to obtain adequate airspeed during take-off, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

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