NTSB Identification: ERA12LA077
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 19, 2011 in Mulberry, FL
Aircraft: ERCOUPE 415-C, registration: N99168
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 19, 2011, about 1135 eastern standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C, N99168, registered to a private individual, was substantially damaged during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from South Lakeland Airport (X49), Mulberry, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight from X49, to Albert Whitted Airport (SPG), St. Petersburg, Florida. The certificated sport pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight originated about 5 minutes earlier from X49.
The pilot stated that earlier that day he flew uneventfully from Punta Gorda, Florida, to X49, and after landing secured the engine and remained on the ground about 2 hours; no fuel or maintenance was performed while at X49. While on the ground at X49, he received a call, and based on that call, wanted to return to PGD rather than fly to SPG Airport as planned for lunch. While proceeding to his airplane he was asked if he could take the passenger to SPG for lunch. He agreed to do so, and both got into the airplane to depart. He (pilot) was seated in the left seat and the passenger was seated in the right seat.
Because the airplane was parked on grass which was soft, he needed a little bit of power to get out of the ruts created by the landing gear. He taxied to runway 14 and other airplanes departed ahead of him. The wind was from the east at 8 to 10 knots. Because of the short duration on the ground, the fact that the flight to X49 was uneventful, and the power application to get out of the parking spot, he did not perform an engine run-up. He estimated that the airplane had 16 gallons total fuel on-board at the time of engine start. He rolled onto the runway with all available runway ahead, applied the brakes, and added full power. The airplane accelerated but not as fast as he thought it should which he attributed to being on a grass runway. He also reported that it, “took a long time to get to 60 [mph]”, and when asked reported the grass was mowed and in good shape. About the point when he was considering aborting the takeoff, the airplane became airborne.
He estimated the takeoff roll was 1,000 feet (typical is 500 to 600 feet), with about 2,000 feet of runway remaining. At the point the airplane became airborne it was traveling at 60 miles-per-hour (mph). He also reported that the rotation point was farther down the runway than usual. He climbed to about 400 feet, cleared power lines, then the airplane began descending. He noticed trees ahead that he thought were not too far beneath the airplane. He maneuvered the airplane towards a clearing but while descending close to the ground, the right wing of the airplane collided with a tree spinning the airplane to the right. The airplane hit the ground right wing low which caused a postcrash fire that started on the right side of the airplane. He and the passenger undid their lapbelts and exited the airplane out each respective side. By the time he ran around to the right side of the airplane the passenger was already out of the airplane and on a road.
Index for Nov2011 | Index of months