On August 16, 1998, at 0330 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181, N30561, was substantially damaged when it went off runway 02 during an aborted takeoff. The private pilot was not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight was departing the Michigan City Airport, Michigan City, Indiana, with Gary Regional Airport, Gary, Indiana, as the destination. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he had landed departed Little Rock, Arkansas and landed in St. Louis, Missouri. He then departed St. Louis en route to Gary, Indiana. He cancelled his IFR flight plan to Gary and proceeded to Michigan City, Indiana, using flight following. The pilot reported he landed at Michigan City at 0330 in light ground fog. He reported that the ground fog was "no problem."

He reported, "Upon departing 02, the fog suddenly obscured the runway. I proceeded to cut the power and came to rest in a field adjacent to the runway."

The 0253 EDT weather at Benton Harbor, Michigan, 31 nautical miles to the northeast, was reporting the temperature as 57 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Dew Point was 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

The 0254 EDT weather at South Bend, Indiana, 22 nautical miles to the east, was reporting the temperature as 62 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Dew Point was 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

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