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On September 25, 1999, at 1653 Eastern Daylight Time, a Cessna 150M, N66641, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees during an aborted landing at Haysfield Airport (MD24), Ellicott City, Maryland. The certificated flight instructor and the student pilot received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the instructional flight that originated at the Carroll County Regional Airport (W54), Westminster, Maryland, approximately 1620. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.
One witness described the accident in a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Aviation Safety Inspector. According to the record of telephone call, the witness said:
"I was standing mid-field, on the taxiway. The airplane was landing. It porpoised and bounced. It smacked the tail and did a go around. It turned left off of runway 31 [and] corrected to a right heading. Then, I lost sight of him and heard a crash."
In a telephone interview, the student pilot said that he and the flight instructor flew to W54, performed two landings, then landed and purchased fuel. He said they "topped off" the fuel tanks and departed W54 for Haysfield. The student pilot said the return flight was approximately 25 minutes in duration because they performed stall training en route. He said:
"We came in for a landing and we came in a little too fast; around 70 knots. We tried to touch down but we bounced a couple of times and aborted the landing. We went up over the hill and the airspeed was about 40 knots. We didn't have enough power and airspeed to make it over the trees at the end and we struck the trees. We came in at 30 degrees flaps, but I don't remember what was done with the flaps after that."
When questioned about the performance of the airplane, the student pilot said:
"Coming back with the added weight of the fuel, it was sluggish, but we had no problem getting off the ground at Carroll County. The airplane did fine. I mean, it's a 150."
In a telephone interview with the FAA Inspector, the flight instructor said:
"We flew from Hayes to Westminster and back to Hayes. We flew about one point five hours. We got fuel at Westminster, but did not top it off. We got about 10 gallons."
In a written statement, the flight instructor said:
"The student was at the controls landing at MD24. I noticed that the aircraft was slightly high on approach and considered additional flaps from 20 to 30 [degrees], but the student was correcting well and I allowed the student to continue the approach. Approach became stable but landing was very hard and aircraft bounced high, hit hard again and bounced again. I applied full power and reduced flaps for the go-around. Aircraft was climbing but was unable to climb over trees at end of runway."
The accident occurred during the hours of daylight approximately 39 degrees, 14 minutes north latitude, and 76 degrees, 57 minutes west longitude.
The flight instructor held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and instrument airplane. He also held a flight instructor certificate for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA second class medical certificate was issued on April 29, 1999.
The flight instructor reported 787 hours of flight experience, 100 hours of which were in make and model. He reported 43 hours of experience as a flight instructor, 20 hours of which were in make and model.
The student pilot reported 16 hours of flight experience, 11 hours of which were in make and model. His FAA second class medical certificate was issued on August 19, 1999.
The airplane was a 1975 Cessna 150M and had accrued 2,554 hours of total time. The airplane was on an annual inspection program. The last annual inspection was completed on March 1, 1999, and the airplane accrued 61.7 hours since that date.
The winds reported at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), 14 miles east of MD24, were from 320 degrees at 7 knots. There were a few clouds at 25,000 feet, the temperature was 80 degrees, and the dewpoint was 57 degrees. The density altitude was 1,489 feet.
Haysfield Airport was a private-use airport with a turf runway 2,400 feet long and 85 feet wide. The runway was at 420 feet mean sea level (msl) and was oriented 130/310 degrees. The runway had a slight "bowl" shape as it was flat and level in the middle two-thirds, but inclined upwards at each end.
The incline continued upwards and crested beyond the departure end of runway 31. Beyond the crest of the hill was an open field that continued approximately 1,000 feet to the wood line.
The wreckage was examined at the site on September 25 and 26, 1999, and all major components were accounted for at the scene. The airplane came to rest on its nose in heavily wooded terrain. One propeller blade was exposed and the other was buried. The exposed blade displayed leading edge nicks and chordwise scratches.
Several pieces of angular cut wood were found next to the wreckage. Several angular cut tree stumps, from 6 to 24 inches in height, were found next to the wreckage within the radius of the propeller arc.
Control continuity was established from the cockpit area to all flight control surfaces. The flap handle was in the 'up' position and the flaps were fully retracted.
Examination of the fuel records revealed that N66641 was serviced with 20 gallons of 100 LL at W54 on September 25, 1999. According to the owner, N66641 had a fuel capacity of 26 gallons.
The maximum allowable gross weight of the airplane was 1,600 pounds. Weight and balance calculations revealed the airplane was approximately 1,706 pounds at takeoff from W54, and approximately 1,670 at the crash site.
Approximate performance figures were developed through interpolation of the performance charts in the Model 150 Owner's Manual and consultation with a member of the Cessna Air Safety Group. Distances were based on the maximum certified gross weight of 1,600 lbs, full power applied before brake release, and a level paved runway. An interpolation of the atmospheric conditions added 7 percent to the total distance and an additional 7 percent was added to compensate for the turf runway. The approximate takeoff distance required to clear a 50-foot obstacle was determined to be 1,411 feet. This figure was based on the airplane at 70 knots indicated airspeed at 50 feet.
According to the Cessna 150 Owner's Manual, the procedure for a Balked Landing (Go Around) was:
"In a balked landing (go-around) climb, the wing flap setting should be reduced to 20 [degrees] immediately after full power is applied. Upon reaching a safe airspeed, the flaps should be slowly retracted to the full up position."
The airplane wreckage was released to the owner on September 26, 1999.