NTSB Identification: CHI07CA225.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 22, 2007 in Coldwater, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2007
Aircraft: Ryan ST3KR, registration: N59220
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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.

The airplane impacted terrain after takeoff from runway 16 (2,400 feet by 190 feet, turf). The pilot reported that they had stopped at the accident airport for fuel. At the time of their initial approach and landing winds aloft were from the east; however, surface winds were from the west. They subsequently landed on runway 25 (5,350 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) without incident. The pilot stated that after fueling surface winds had reversed direction. They were now from the east at 8 to 10 knots. He elected to use runway 16 for takeoff because he felt the airplane "handled better on grass." The pilot reported that when the airplane lifted off, it "felt light" and "loose controlled" so he lowered the nose in order to gain airspeed. He noted feeling a "slight bump or lift followed by a rapid drop of [the] left wing and nose." The airplane subsequently impacted the ground. Examination of the flight control system did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a pre-impact failure. Winds recorded by the departure airport Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) within 5 minutes of the accident were from 140 degrees at 4 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush condition. A contributing factor was the low altitude at the time of the inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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