NTSB Identification: CEN09FA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 11, 2008 in Cedar Lake, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/19/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 150G, registration: N3623J
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 aircraft accident report.

The student pilot reported that the southeasterly grass runway (2,331 feet by 100 feet) was "very bumpy" and that it took more than half of the available runway length to achieve liftoff. After liftoff, the airplane did not clear the 60/70-foot-high tree line located at the departure end of the runway, and impacted several trees before descending nose first into a residential backyard. A review of downloaded GPS data showed the airplane began its takeoff roll from the approach end of the runway. Approximately 34 seconds into the takeoff, the airplane had traveled about 1,788 feet laterally, over 3/4 of the runway length, and had climbed 5 feet above the airport elevation. The plotted data showed that the airplane completed a 10-degree right turn immediately after liftoff and continued to climb as it approached the tree line. Between the last two data points, the airplane’s average ground speed was approximately 53 knots. The last data point was approximately 68 feet above the airport elevation and 223 feet laterally from the accident site. The aircraft’s weight before the accident flight was at or near the certified maximum takeoff weight. Based on the available airport and weather information, the airplane’s pilot operating handbook indicated that the takeoff ground roll, on a level grass runway without a headwind, was about 885 feet, and the required distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was about 1,663 feet. A review of the maintenance records found no history of unresolved airworthiness issues, and examination of the recovered wreckage revealed no evidence of a pre-impact mechanical malfunction. The accident engine demonstrated the ability to produce rated horsepower during a post-accident test run. The student pilot had accumulated 25.3 hours total flight time, of which 13.9 hours were documented as pilot-in-command.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain adequate clearance after takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's overall lack of flight experience.

Full narrative available

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