NTSB Identification: ERA10LA450
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 28, 2010 in Pompano Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2011
Aircraft: AIR TRACTOR AT402, registration: N4172U
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 purpose of the flight was to deliver the agricultural airplane, which had accumulated about 10 total hours since new, to its owner. The pilot was attempting to depart from a 3,502-foot-long asphalt runway. The pilot reported that the airplane accelerated to takeoff speed and lifted off without incident; however, it would not climb out of ground effect and settled back on to the runway. The pilot continued the takeoff attempt, allowing the airplane to gain speed while on the ground for another 1,000 feet, and rotated again as the airplane approached the end of the runway. The airplane climbed to about 10 to 15 feet above the ground before settling again onto a grass area that extended about 600 feet beyond the runway. The pilot subsequently aborted the takeoff. The airplane traveled through a chain link fence and struck trees.

A postaccident examination of the airframe, engine, and propeller assemblies did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The airplane weighed about 8,384 pounds during the takeoff. While the normal maximum takeoff weight for the airplane was 7,000 pounds, the airplane's maximum gross weight for agricultural purposes was 9,170 pounds. According to a representative of the airplane’s manufacturer, at the conditions reported at the time of the accident the airplane's ground roll was estimated to be 3,373 feet, and the air distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was an additional 3,195 feet.

While the pilot did not indicate that he performed an assessment of the required takeoff distance for the flight, the investigation also discovered that the airplane’s flight manual did not provide a takeoff distance chart for a takeoff weight above 7,000 pounds.

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

The pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff, which resulted in a runway overrun and a subsequent collision with obstacles and terrain. Contributing to the accident was the airplane's high gross weight.

Full narrative available

Index for Aug2010 | Index of months