NTSB Identification: ERA13CA298
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 20, 2013 in East Aurora, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/23/2013
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7KCAB, registration: N11679
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that his tailwheel airplane was near its maximum gross weight and he planned to depart his private airstrip from runway 18, a 1,530-foot long turf runway. The pilot had completed takeoff performance calculations, which revealed a total distance of 1,429 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle. The pilot's calculations included adjustments for an up-sloping runway, grass taller than 4 inches, soft terrain, and no headwind component. He observed that the wind at the time of departure was from the south to southwest at 5 to 10 knots. The engine developed rated power during run-up and the takeoff roll; however, the airplane lifted off slightly further down the runway than the pilot expected and it seemed to stop accelerating in a flat climb attitude. Due to obstacles at the end of the runway, the pilot reduced power and performed an "aggressive" wheel landing in an attempt to stop on the remaining runway. The airplane subsequently nosed over and came to rest inverted on the grass runway. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane. Examination of the airplane revealed substantial damage to the forward fuselage and vertical stabilizer. The recorded wind at an airport located approximately 15 miles from the accident site, about 25 minutes prior to the accident, was from 260 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 14 knots. The pilot added that after the accident, he noticed that the wind had shifted from south to north.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during a rejected takeoff on a soft turf runway with a gusty wind, resulting in the airplane nosing over.

Full narrative available

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