NTSB Identification: WPR09LA323
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 01, 2009 in Burley, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: REPUBLIC RC-3, registration: N87487
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot reported that despite his request for the airplane to be refueled with 30 gallons of fuel prior to takeoff, the fixed base operator had filled the airplane with 67.7 gallons of fuel. The flight instructor reported that after the student pilot was notified that the airplane had been topped off with fuel, he "ran the numbers in [his] head and determined it would be fine because of the same conditions that were present" for takeoff from a different airport earlier in the day. The student pilot reported that while on the initial climb from the airport, the airplane stopped climbing and began to descend. At an altitude of 100 feet above ground level, the flight instructor took control of the airplane to ensure a proper climbout speed was maintained. The airplane continued to descend and collided with power lines. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over and impacted the ground in a vacant lot. A witness reported that the airplane slowly accelerated down the 4,067-foot-long runway and used approximately 85 to 90 percent of the available runway to become airborne. The witness observed the airplane "climbing at an extremely slow rate," and stated it appeared that "the pilot attempted to increase the rate of climb twice," which resulted in the airplane’s "left wing starting to dip as it appeared to be approaching a stall." Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the empennage had separated from the fuselage just aft of the cabin and that the rudder, vertical stabilizer, nose, and wings were structurally damaged. No mechanical anomalies were noted with the engine or airframe. Takeoff performance calculations for the reported weather conditions revealed that the airplane’s required takeoff distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was 3,921 feet on a paved surface.

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

The flight instructor's failure to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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