On May 6, 1996, at 1130 eastern daylight time, a Beech A36, N12JE, sustained substantial damage during an aborted takeoff attempt at Ingalls Field, in Hot Springs, Virginia. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight plan was filed. The certificated private pilot and the two passengers were not injured. The flight originated from Hot Springs, Virginia, at 1130, with an intended destination of Reading, Pennsylvania.

The pilot reported that the weight and balance calculations, preflight inspection of the airplane, engine start and engine run-up were accomplished satisfactorily. He stated that during the takeoff roll on runway 24, the airplane "...accelerated to a rotation speed of 80 knots...aircraft accelerated normally, lifted off, and stall horn sounded immediately. Lowered nose and raised gear for less drag. Stall horn still on. Glanced at airspeed indicator and still at 80 knots...Buffeting by crosswind gust dropped right wing. Straightened aircraft, lowered nose, and still no acceleration. Running out of runway, decided to cut throttle and mixture...landed basically flat, but hard on [the] runway, gear up...slid to a stop on grass on right side... ."

The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction, and that the reported winds at the time of the accident were out of 260 degrees at 12 to 15 knots, with gusts to 25 knots. He stated that the accident could have been prevented if there was wind shear detecting equipment at the airport to alert pilots of the wind conditions during takeoff and landing operations. The airport elevation at Hot Springs, Virginia, is 3,792 feet mean sea level.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector, the pilot reported that the aircraft did not accelerate or climb, and that the control felt "...mushy." The FAA Inspector stated that examination of the accident site revealed that the left wing tip struck the runway about 10 feet to the left of the runway centerline and 1100 feet from the departure end of the runway. The FAA Inspector noted no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction.

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