FTW97LA153
FTW97LA153

On April 6, 1997, at 1515 central standard time, a Mooney M20F, N6492Q, registered to Texas Aerodyne Corporation and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91, impacted terrain during the takeoff near Marietta, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot and the sole passenger received minor injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the planned personal cross country flight from Marietta to Fort Worth, Texas. The pilot had not filed a flight plan and the flight was originating at the time of the accident.

During interviews, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, and on the Pilot/Operator Report, the pilot stated the following information. The flight departed Luck Airport, Fort Worth, Texas, at 1355 for a VFR flight to Marietta, Oklahoma. An uneventful arrival landing was made at the private grass/turf runway at the McGehee Restaurant near Marietta. Following lunch, while preparing for the departure flight, the pilot noted that the winds were "pretty much down the runway; however they were gusting from 15 to 20 knots and varying at times from 330 to 010 degrees." As the airplane began the takeoff roll, a car was observed on the road that crosses the runway; however, the airplane lifted off the runway before the road. The airplane was "at low speed with approximately 10 degrees of flaps and flew for about 5 seconds before veering to the right." The pilot tried to realign the airplane with the runway; however, the left main gear struck the side of the runway and the airplane came to rest in a ravine along the side of the runway. The pilot stated that this accident could have been prevented by "minimiz[ing] time spent in ground effect when taking off on a windy day (and gusty day) from grass runways." The pilot reported that he had 38.2 hours in the M20F airplane; however, he had never done a shortfield takeoff from a grass/turf runway in this airplane.

The FAA inspector examined the airplane and found the engine separated from the firewall. The right wing and fuselage had structural damage and the main landing gear was separated from the airframe.

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