On June 10, 2000, at 1405 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N2379T, owned and piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during an in-flight collision with trees and terrain following a loss of control while on initial climb from runway 18 (2,510 feet by 50 feet, dry/asphalt) at the Dalton Airport, Flushing, Michigan. Visual metrological conditions prevailed during the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and was not on a flight plan. The pilot and the single passenger sustained serious injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and had the intended destination of Luce County Airport, Newberry, Michigan.

The pilot stated in a written statement, "We departed with 10-degrees flaps, prop [propeller] full forward, mixture rich and the throttle full forward. I rotated at 65 mph for lift-off. The airplane immediately lifted off but felt sluggish while climbing up. When we got to the end of the runway, we were at tree top level and it felt like our wheels were in the tops of the trees. The airplane was not climbing as it should and did not feel it had normal power nor was it performing as it normally does under the same flight conditions." The pilot reported, "I banked slightly to the left after reaching the end of the runway trying to go for clearer area, as I felt we were in trouble. I wanted to avoid setting the airplane down in a nearby subdivision. As I banked, I noticed the stall light blink one time and I could no longer hold altitude. The next thing I can recall is being rescued."

The pilot stated that he had 50-gallons (300-lbs) of fuel on board the aircraft at the time of the accident. The pilot reported that the airplane was loaded with himself (200-lbs), one passenger (130-lbs), a load of fishing gear (exact weight unknown), and personal luggage (exact weight unknown).

According to the POH, utilizing a calculated density altitude of 2,785-feet and 25-degrees of flaps used during the takeoff, the distance to clear a 50-foot obstacle was approximated at 2,250-feet. Utilizing the same density altitude but 0-degrees of flaps used for the takeoff, the distance to clear a 50-feet obstacle was approximated at 2,500-feet. The takeoff calculations were based on a takeoff from a paved, dry, level runway and at the aircraft's certified maximum gross weight of 2,600-lbs.

According to the POH, the procedure used for a takeoff from a short field with obstacles was listed as:

"Short Field, Obstacle Clearance: Lower flaps to 25-degrees (second notch), accelerate aircraft to 60-65 MPH and ease back on the wheel to rotate. After breaking ground, accelerate to best angle of climb speed, 85 MPH, select gear "up" and continue climb while accelerating to best rate of climb speed, 100 MPH, and slowly retract the flaps while climbing out."

Post-accident investigation revealed that the landing gear was fully extended and the flaps were at 10-degrees (first notch).

A weather observation station, located at the Bishop International Airport (FNT), 6 nautical miles from the accident site on 154-degree magnetic heading, reported the weather 12-minutes prior to the accident as:

Observation Time: 1353 eastern daylight time Wind: 250-degrees at 11 knots with gusts of 21 knots Visibility: 10 statute miles Sky Condition: Sky Clear Temperature: 31-degrees centigrade Dew Point Temperature: 19-degrees centigrade Pressure: 29.95 inches of mercury

No anomalies were found with the aircraft or its related control systems that could be associated with a preexisting condition.

No anomalies were found with the aircraft engine or it related systems that could be associated with a preexisting condition.

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