NTSB Identification: LAX05GA243.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 21, 2005 in Las Vegas, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/2007
Aircraft: Aero Commander 680 FL, registration: N7UP
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor.

: NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The airplane descended into the ground during takeoff-initial climb on a local fire reconnaissance flight. Witnesses reported that airplane became airborne, but was not climbing, and it continued down the runway in a nose-up attitude in ground effect until impacting terrain about 600 feet southeast from the departure end of the runway. The ambient temperature was about 107 degrees Fahrenheit, and the density altitude was calculated at 5,878 feet mean sea level. On scene examination found the flaps in the 30-degree position, which also corresponded to the flap actuator position. The cockpit indicator for the flaps also showed a 30-degree extension. A subsequent bench test of the combined flap/gear selector valve was conducted. During the initial inspection, both the gear selector and the flap selector valves were bent, but otherwise operational. The "stop-pin" on the flap selector lever was missing. There was no leakage of fluid during this test. Examination of both engines revealed no abnormalities, which would prevent normal operations. The aircraft flight manual specifies that the flaps should be set at 1/4 down (10 degrees) for normal takeoff.

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

The pilot's excessive selection of flaps prior to takeoff, which resulted in a failure to obtain/maintain an appropriate climb airspeed, and an inadvertent stall/mush during takeoff-initial climb. A factor contributing to the accident was a high density altitude.

Full narrative available

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