On Tuesday, August 3, 1993, at 0917 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N10489, piloted by Dennis Warner, struck a pole and impacted the ground during climbout from the Heldeberg Airport, East Berne, New York. The airplane was substantially damaged. The pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan had not been filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR 91.

In the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that he had calculated the airplane takeoff weight to be approximately 38 pounds below the maximum allowed of 1,600 pounds. He further stated:

"The wind was calm with an occasional 1 or 2 knot breeze down from the hills to the south, which was 90 degrees to the runway...To the east there is a clear way of about 2500 feet over a gradually upsloping hayfield...climbing over the fence, the aircraft ceased climbing...I believe I picked up a quartering tail wind...The sun was directly in my line of vision, hindering my see the large fence post. I banked and missed the post with the nose wheel...but the left horizontal stabilator hit the fence post, causing the nose wheel to contact the ground and fold. The left wing hit the ground, and we slid to a stop..."

In a telephone interview with the airport manager, Randy Engel, he stated that there is a 4-foot wire fence at the departure end of the runway. He also stated that the terrain rises about 20 feet above the airport elevation, beyond the departure end of the runway, where N10489 struck a 5-foot pole. He further stated that the pole was located about 600 feet from the departure end of the runway.

The airplane departure was to the southeast, from a 1,400 foot gravel runway. The reported winds at the Albany Airport, Albany, New York, located 15 miles from Heldeberg Airport, were from 120 degrees at 4 knots. According to the Cessna Pilot Operating Handbook, the calculated ground run for a short field takeoff was 900 feet, and the takeoff distance to clear a 50 foot obstacle was 1660 feet. The runway length plus the distance to the pole equaled 2,000 feet. In that available distance the airplane accomplished a total climb of about 25 feet.

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