NTSB Identification: LAX08CA125
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 04, 2008 in Atlanta, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Grumman AA-5A, registration: N9720U
Injuries: 2 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 pilot reported that both he and the passenger walked the runway and removed debris from it, including sticks and rocks, prior to takeoff. The runway had softened due to snow and water runoff and the pilot said he experienced slight sinking conditions, but it was not muddy or sloppy. The pilot elected to depart to the south in order to takeoff on a downhill slope. The pilot performed a soft field takeoff by pulling the yoke back to reduce friction from the nose wheel. About 40 miles per hour (mph), the airplane hit several ruts and slowed down. He initiated rotation at 60 mph, but could not gain sufficient altitude prior to hitting a tree at the departure end of the runway, causing substantial damage. The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures of the airplane.

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

The pilot's failure to attain and maintain an adequate airspeed during the takeoff to clear trees during the initial climb. Contributing factors were the soft and rough nature of the short runway surface.

Full narrative available

Index for May2008 | Index of months