CHI95LA218
CHI95LA218

On July 11, 1995, at 2240 central daylight time, a Beech C24R, N67100, operated by Elliott Flying Service of Moline, Illinois, was substantially damaged while attempting to take off from a sod runway at Freeport-Albertus Airport, Freeport, Illinois. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The 14 CFR Part 135 flight originated from Quad City Airport, Moline, Illinois, at 1610 on a VFR flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident.

During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that his boss had called him at home and wanted him to come to the airport right away for a flight. The pilot stated that he always obtains a full preflight briefing before each flight, but to save time, he trusted his boss to do so this one time. The pilot stated that when he arrived at the airport, he did not ask for a briefing from his boss regarding the weather, notams, or any other information. The passengers were boarded, and they departed en route to Freeport.

The pilot stated that at approximately ten miles from Freeport, he tried numerous times to request the active runway over the unicom frequency, but he received no reply. So once he arrived at the airport, the pilot decided to overfly the airport to determine the active runway. The pilot stated that it was at this time that he saw that the asphalt runway was closed leaving only the two grass runways for use. It was also at this time that a response finally came over the unicom announcing runway 18 (2500' x 200') was in use. The pilot landed on runway 18.

The pilot reported that in preparation for the return flight, he performed a weight and balance as well as takeoff performance calculations. The pilot stated that all calculations were "within the envelope." He reported that it was now dark and he had not noticed that the neither of the grass runways had lighting until he was ready to takeoff. They only had reflectors. The pilot stated that he decided to takeoff on runway 13 (2250' x 150). The passengers were boarded, the airplane was started and back taxied on runway 13 for takeoff. The pilot stated he performed an engine run-up and everything was normal. He applied maximum power for takeoff and began the takeoff roll. The pilot stated the "aircraft did not accelerate properly in ground effect, takeoff aborted." The airplane exited the side of the runway and impacted a reflector stand.

No preimpact mechanical abnormalities were reported by the pilot.

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