IAD97LA026
IAD97LA026

On November 29, 1996, about 1215 eastern standard time, a Cessna 205, N1892Z, was destroyed when it collided with trees during the initial climb from McGinness Airport, Columbia, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot, and three passengers received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

McGinness Airport consisted of two runways, runway 11/29, and runway 8/26 which merge together to form a "V." The entire airport, was surrounded by trees at least 20 feet tall, except for an area on the left side of runway 11 where there were some buildings. The airplane departed runway 11, a 1,850 foot turf runway.

The passengers were interviewed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector. One passenger stated that during the takeoff, when the airplane became airborne, she heard a horn or buzzer. The airplane then returned to the runway momentarily, before becoming airborne again, and then impacted terrain. She reported the pilot said, "Can't keep it in the air or something like that." She also said the engine was running, and there were no noticeable changes in sound prior to impact. Another passenger stated the takeoff and engine seemed normal. He reported the airplane became airborne, touched down once, took off again, and hit trees. He heard a horn or beeping sound prior to impact. He also said the pilot stated, "we're not going to make it," after the first touch. A third passenger, who had flown with the pilot several times said the airplane had been checked for ice prior to departing, and a small amount of snow was found and removed from the front edge of the wing. He reported that normal run-up checks were performed prior to takeoff, and the takeoff seemed normal.

In an interview with an FAA Inspector, a witness who saw the takeoff stated, the airplane climbed a little, did two nose dives, and touched the ground two times. She said the airplane turned or dipped to the right before disappearing behind a hill.

In a written statement, an FAA Inspector stated the aircraft appeared to have fallen through the trees at a steep vertical angle. The last third of the runway contained at least two ground scars, created by the nose wheel. Trees and shrubs slashed by the propeller were visible at the departure end of the runway.

Examination of the wreckage by an FAA Inspector did not disclose any pre-impact abnormalities of the airframe. The engine sustained substantial damage during the ground impact and ensuing post crash fire. As a result, no discrepancies were documented with the engine.

At the time of the accident, winds reported at airports 16 miles northwest, and 11 miles east of the accident site were from 280 degrees at 5 knots, and from 290 degrees at 4 knots, respectively.

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