On December 19, 1997, about 1415 eastern standard time, an American AA-1, N5789L, collided with trees shortly after takeoff from the Hidden Acres Airport, in Monticello, Florida. The airplane was operated by the owner/pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local, personal flight. The private pilot and sole occupant was not injured, and the airplane was destroyed by impact and post crash fire. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he taxied to the end of the runway, and performed a run-up. He fire-walled the throttle and began the takeoff roll. The aircraft accelerated and lifted off into ground effect. He said he flew in ground effect, but the aircraft did not accelerate and climb as expected. He said that he pulled up and stalled into trees at the end of the runway. According to the pilot, he believed the accident could have been avoided if he departed from an airport with a longer runway, allowing the pilot more room to operate.
According to the FAA Inspector, the pilot attempted to takeoff on a 2000 foot strip covered with 7 to 8 inch tall wet grass.
The Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) showed a takeoff distance from a hard surfaced runway over a 50 foot obstacle, at maximum gross weight, with flaps up, wind zero, and sea level conditions was 1615 feet. There is no chart for takeoff performance from a grass strip.