On September 3, 1993, at 1700 central daylight time (CDT), a Piper PA-22-150, N5942D, registered to Roger W. Schroeder of Holbrook, Nebraska, and piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when it nosed over during an off airport landing. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot and two passengers reported no injuries. The flight originated from Clay Center, Nebraska, just prior to the accident.

During an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration Principal Operations Inspector (POI), the pilot stated the sod runway he was going to depart from had eight inch high grass on it. He said that grass on the runway's edges was approximately 18 inches high. The pilot told the POI that the airplane was slow to accelerate during the takeoff roll. He stated the airplane's engine was producing 2,500 RPM. When the airplane attained an airspeed of 55 MPH, the pilot told the POI, he extended full flaps to become airborne. The airplane lifted off and flew about 25 feet above the ground.

According to the pilot's statement, the airplane encountered a downdraft and would not climb. The pilot said he retarded the power and decided to land in a field 500 feet beyond the runway. Upon landing the pilot told the POI he applied brakes and struck combine ruts, nosing over in three foot high grass.

The pilot's written statement, accompanying NTSB Form 6120.1/2 states he commented to one of the passengers that the runway was soft during the taxiing activity. He said one of the passengers offered to deplane but did not.

A drawing appearing on the pilot's NTSB Form 6120.1/2 shows the pilot extended full flaps after utilizing approximately 75 percent of the runway surface. The Piper PA-22-150/160 pilot's operating handbook (POH) states "The full flap position is used for maximum effect in landings and takeoffs... ." The "Operating Instruction" section of the POH states "The application of full flaps as takeoff speed is approached, will reduce the takeoff run about 20 percent". The drawing also shows a five knot crosswind from the left side of the departure runway.

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