NTSB Identification: WPR10LA411
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in Leavenworth, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415, registration: N2368H
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 pilot reported that he made a short-field takeoff with an approximate 5 mile-per-hour headwind. Shortly after liftoff, he realized that, even with the best angle of climb speed, the airplane would have difficulty clearing trees at the end of the runway. The pilot continued the climbout and turned the airplane slightly to the right and the airplane collided with the top 10 feet of trees surrounding the airport. The pilot stated that, in retrospect, he might have taken off downwind to the east where there was more room, used a different airport, or maintained a faster airspeed. A witness noted that the turf field appeared to be bumpy and the takeoff roll was longer than he expected. He did not have the impression that the airplane had engine issues or entered into a stall after becoming airborne. The pilot also reported no mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane 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 adequately evaluate the airport and its environment in relation to the aircraft’s performance, which resulted in the airplane's failure to attain sufficient altitude to clear trees during the initial climb.

Full narrative available

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