On July 8, 1994, at 1140 eastern daylight time, a Cessna A188B, N9583G, collided with trees and terrain during takeoff from a private, dirt airstrip near Tifton, Georgia. The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and fire. The commercial pilot had serious injuries. The aircraft was operated under 14 CFR Part 137 by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local, aerial application flight. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported the following: He had loaded the hopper with water so that he could practice aerial application maneuvers. During the takeoff, the aircraft became airborne about 2/3 down the dirt runway. There was a gully located on the runway prior to the point of takeoff. The aircraft became airborne, then settled back down. He attempted to dump the load of water, however he did not gain sufficient altitude to clear perimeter trees. The aircraft contacted the trees, then crashed in an open field. The pilot did not report any loss of engine power.

Two inspectors with the Federal Aviation Administration visited the accident site and inspected the wreckage. There was evidence that four trees had been damaged about 40 feet above ground level. The wreckage was found in a cleared area, on a heading of about 090 degrees magnetic. The aircraft was almost consumed by fire after ground impact, with the empennage and engine sections remaining essentially intact. The throttle, mixture, and propeller controls were in the full forward position. Both propeller blades exhibited a wavy, or "s" curved appearance. An examination of the flight controls revealed that the elevator trim was in the full nose down position.

The limits for elevator trim tab travel are as follows:

Full tab up: 12 degrees above neutral (+/- 1 deg.)

Full tab down: 27 degrees below neutral (+/- 1 deg.)

Takeoff trim setting: Neutral.

In the "Normal Procedures" section of the aircraft checklist (Before Takeoff Checklist), the following step is included:

"9. Elevator Trim -- SET for takeoff."

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