NTSB Identification: CHI04LA112.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 28, 2004 in Dodge Center, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-1B, registration: N9919L
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 airplane was destroyed during an in-flight collision with terrain after takeoff from runway 16. The accident site was located about 100 feet west of the departure runway in a level farm field. Three witnesses at the airport reported that they observed the accident pilot board the aircraft and taxi to the runway for takeoff. They reported the aircraft appeared and sounded normal. One of these individuals reported that he observed the accident aircraft takeoff. He stated that the aircraft was airborne about halfway down the runway and he watched it until it was approximately 500 feet above ground level (agl). He estimated the aircraft was approximately three-quarters of the way down the runway at that point. He stated that he returned to his activities and became aware of the accident a few minutes later when one of the other witnesses alerted him. He went out and observed the accident scene and papers blowing in the wind. The aircraft debris path was approximately 150 feet from initial impact to where the main wreckage came to rest. All airplane flight and control surfaces were present at the accident site. Winds at the departure airport were from 210 degrees at 27 knots, gusting to 34 knots, at the time. A pilot on final approach to an airport 22 miles south of the departure airport, about the time of the accident, reported an airspeed loss of 20 knots due to low level wind shear. According to the report, this occurred about 150 feet above ground level (agl). An AIRMET for occasional moderate turbulence below 12,000 feet mean sea level due to strong low level winds was in effect. The AIRMET included the departure and destination airports. The potential of low level wind shear below 2,000 feet agl over southeastern Minnesota was also noted.

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

The pilot's failure maintain climb and his failure to maintain clearance from the terrain during initial climb out after takeoff. The aircraft's low altitude, high gusty winds and low level turbulence were contributing factors.

Full narrative available

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