NTSB Identification: CEN09FA111
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, January 01, 2009 in Joliet, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: LANTZAIR FLYERS INC LANCAIR 360, registration: N3603R
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 pilot landed with 4 to 5 gallons of fuel on board following a 4.5-hour cross-country flight. After landing, the pilot made numerous attempts to locate fuel in order to continue the flight so that his passenger could be at work in the morning. The pilot left a note and money after having siphoned fuel from another airplane parked at the airport. After about 2 hours and 45 minutes on the ground, the airplane took off again. Impact marks indicate that the airplane stalled during the takeoff, impacting the terrain with the left wing prior to catching fire and coming to rest inverted. The accident occurred at night as the airplane was departing on the second leg of a cross-country flight. Calculations show that the airplane was slightly over the maximum gross takeoff weight and the center of gravity (CG) was slightly aft of the aft limit at the time of the accident. A pilot of another single-engine airplane, who landed a few minutes after the accident airplane landed, and who took off about 30 minutes later (which would have been about 2 hours before the accident) reported that he had to wipe a “slight frost buildup” off of his wings and tail with a towel prior to takeoff. The investigation could not determine whether the slight frost, slight overgross condition, or slight aft CG contributed, either individually or in combination, to the aerodynamic stall of the airplane. Additionally, several people reported that it was not uncommon to see deer on the airport property and one person reported seeing many deer on the runway earlier in the day prior to when the pilot landed; however the investigation could not determine whether deer were present on the runway at the time of the accident.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate flying speed during the night takeoff for undetermined reasons, which resulted in an inadvertent aerodynamic stall and subsequent loss of control

Full narrative available

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