NTSB Identification: DEN07CA139.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 19, 2007 in Lake City, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2007
Aircraft: Cessna A185F, registration: N185MR
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
According to the pilot, he was taking off on runway 04 (3,200 feet by 50 feet, gravel, down-sloping). The pilot stated that he leaned the mixture for altitude performance and added 20 degrees of flaps prior to the takeoff roll. "At mid-field the liftoff appeared normal" and the "airplane was beginning to become light on it's wheels and about to begin flying in ground effect." He said, "However, in the remaining 700 to 1,000 feet, at maximum acceleration, the aircraft appeared to be pushed back down to the ground. The pilot said he executed "emergency abort procedures which consisted of directing the aircraft toward bushes at the end of the runway to absorb the impact, pulling the fuel cut-off to stop the flow of fuel, and turning off the magnetos and ignition switch to reduce the chance of fire." The airplane impacted bushes and a fence at the departure end of the runway causing substantial damage to the wings, left main landing gear, and left horizontal stabilizer . The pilot reported no anomalies with the airplane or its systems. Recorded temperatures in the area, at the time of the accident, ranged from 70 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (F) with dew points of 44 to 46 degrees F. According to the pilot, the temperature at the airport was 51 degrees F. Density altitude ranges were calculated to be from 10,000 to 12,200 feet. The pilot stated that there was 10 to 15 knots of tailwind during the takeoff. According to airport information, the runway is 3,200 feet in length and slopes down 50 feet. Forty foot trees are located at the end of the runway. Performance data showed a required takeoff distance of 3,200 to 3,300 feet on a paved runway, to clear a 50 foot obstacle at the end of the runway.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper preflight planning, his inability to attain short field takeoff performance, and his intentional maneuvering of the airplane into bushes and a fence during the aborted takeoff. Factors contributing to the accident were the high density altitude and the tailwind.
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