On May 23, 1996, at 1750 central daylight time, a Cessna 152, N52MA, owned and operated by Bridgeport Flight Training Center, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from the Bridgeport Municipal Airport in Bridgeport, Texas. The student pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 local solo instructional flight. A flight plan was not filed.

The student pilot was practicing short field takeoffs. According to witnesses, the airplane did not sound like it was at full power during the takeoff roll. The witnesses stated that, although the airplane did get airborne, it seemed to "wallow" at about 10 feet AGL all the way down the 4,009 foot runway. The pilot reported that, after he rotated and became airborne, "the aircraft just started to sink and loose airspeed. I tried to keep it up as much [as] I could, but to no response." He further reported that he "continued in this state, proceeding down the runway not aware of my close proximity to the trees." The airplane impacted the trees at the end of the runway.

The FAA inspector reported that the pilot said that, "he had been taxiing with the mixture partially to the lean position and did not remember if he pushed it all the way rich prior to takeoff, and during [the] roll down [the] runway he heard a noise that could have been from a lean mixture setting."

Inspection by the FAA inspector revealed that the right wing was "broken" at the outboard end of the flap with the tip bent back towards the tail, and the area from the cockpit control panel forward separated from the fuselage. The airplane contained fuel, although the exact amount could not be determined due to leakage from broken fuel system components. When the cockpit area was examined, the mixture control was in a leaned position.

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