On December 5, 1994, approximately 1600 central standard time, a Beech V35, N4855J, was destroyed during takeoff from Wildwood Airstrip at Village Mills, Texas. The private pilot was not injured and his pilot rated passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During the interview, conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, the pilot reported that he had landed at this airstrip 20 times before without difficulty. He knew that the rains had damaged the airstrip and that the drainage was worse on the west (right) side of the runway; therefore, he chose a take off ground roll "as far left as possible." The "hole" he hit with his aircraft was about 2 feet deep and was the result of rain "washing out" an area around a drain pipe. It was covered with grass and he did not see it during landing.
The take off roll started normally, the pilot reported. He veered slightly left to utilize the better (smoother) part of the airstrip. The "left main wheel apparently hit a dip in the runway, which caused the craft to veer more to the left than was intended". The nose gear hit the grass covered hole referred to above, causing the aircraft to rotate about its vertical axis and the left wing to hit a tree subsequently shearing off the outer 6 feet of the wing. A fire started at that separation point consequently destroying the airplane.