On February 1, 1998, about 1615 eastern standard time, a Cessna 182, N7275E, owned and operated by Long Island Skydivers Inc., Wantaugh, New York, was substantially damaged when it struck a fence, after an aborted takeoff from Spadaro Airport, East Moriches, New York. The certificated private pilot and two skydivers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the parachute drop flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that the accident occurred during his fourth flight that day. The three previous flights, with three or four jumpers each, were uneventful. After completing the third flight, he landed and picked up two jumpers. He then back taxied on the runway and began his takeoff roll to the south. The pilot said that less the half way down the 2,200 foot asphalt runway, he aborted the takeoff because, "the airplane didn't feel right." He reduced the engine power, and applied brakes. The pilot stated the brakes "faded" after a few seconds, and he was unable to stop. The airplane impacted a snow fence at the end of the runway.
During a second telephone interview, the pilot said he used the airplane's elevator trim so the airplane would "lift up on it's own" during the takeoff roll, "at about 65 MPH." When asked what trim setting he used, the pilot said, he sets the elevator trim "around the 'E' in takeoff" that is printed next to the trim wheel for every takeoff, regardless of the number of parachutists in the airplane. The pilot additionally stated, he aborted the takeoff at "about 65 MPH," and "everything was normal except the plane didn't lift off."
In a telephone interview, one of the skydivers stated he was seated behind the pilot facing rearward, the other skydiver was seated next to the pilot facing rearward. During the takeoff roll, he heard the pilot say "It's not coming up, or something like that." He then heard a power reduction and felt the pilot apply brakes. The next thing he remembered was the impact.
Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions of the airframe or engine. The airplane's elevator trim was found in a neutral position.
An airplane weight and balance calculation was performed by the NTSB for the conditions during the accident flight, and for a departure with four jumpers. The weight and balance calculations revealed the airplane's center of gravity (CG) with four jumpers was about 122.5 inches, and during the accident flight the airplane's CG was about 101.1 inches. A shift 21.4 inches forward. According to the airplane's information manual, the CG range for the accident flight was about 95 to 113 inches.
FAA Advisory Circular AC61-21A, Chapter 6 "Takeoffs and Departure Climbs" stated:
"...When all the flight controls become effective during the takeoff roll in a nosewheel type airplane, back elevator pressure should be gradually applied to raise the nosewheel slightly off the runway, thus establishing the takeoff or lift-off attitude. This is often referred to as 'rotating.'..."