On July 22, 1995, at about 1300, central daylight time, a PZL Mielec M-18A, N80225, sustained substantial damage while attempting to takeoff from Carrington, North Dakota. The aerial sprayer settled to the ground after takeoff and travelled about 312 feet before impacting a gravel truck. The commercial pilot reported minor injuries to himself. The driver of the truck received serious injuries. The 14 CFR Part 137 flight was departing Carrington, North Dakota, on a local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that the aircraft was loaded by the ground crew with about 1/2 tank of fuel (95 gallons) and 450 gallons of water. He taxied to the south end of runway 3 and performed the runnup checks. He reported that he put in 40 inches of manifold pressure and 2300 RPM, and that the engine sounded okay. He reported that during takeoff the airplane broke ground and it seemed to be flying as always.

The pilot reported that the airplane settled back down at about 321 feet from the end of the runway. He reported that the airplane traveled about 320 feet before impacting a gravel truck that was stopped at the intersection of a gravel road and the highway that ran east and west.

Runway 3 is 2,255 feet long. Runway 31 was under construction at the time so it could not be utilized.

The certified maximum gross weight of the airplane was 10,360 pounds. The calculated weight of the airplane at takeoff was about 10,653 pounds. However, under the FAA regulations governing the operation of aircraft under CAR 8 (Civil Air Regulations) at weights exceeding certified maximum weight, the airplane was authorized to be flown over its maximum gross weight. (See attachments)

The pilot reported that the there were two rows of trees (about 40 feet in height) situated north and south just to the east of the airport. The pilot reported that the air was very unstable due to the turbulence created by the northwest wind coming off the trees.

A pilot who had been spraying a field nearby reported that the winds had been shifting from the northwest to the southwest about the same time of the accident.

An Airworthiness Inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the airplane never climbed out of ground effect but settled and touched down 321 feet from the end of the runway. He reported that the airplane rolled about 312 feet and hit a ditch along side of the airport road and impacted a gravel truck. The pilot had reported no mechanical problems during takeoff.

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