On August 15, 2000, about 1055 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 152, N93589, registered to Air Lease, Inc., crashed into trees shortly after takeoff from Gainesville Regional Airport, Gainesville, Florida, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage and the commercial-rated flight instructor and student pilot received minor injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The instructor stated that during climb, shortly after takeoff, the engine rpm fluctuated between 2,300 and 2,400. He then saw rpm had dropped to 2,100. He took the controls from the student and initiated a left turn back towards the airport. He saw that he could not make the airport and selected a wooded area south of the airport for a landing. The aircraft crashed through the trees and came to rest on the ground. A postcrash fire erupted in the engine area.

A witness who was located at the approach end of runway 24 under a sunshade stated he observed N93589 taxi to the end of runway 24. He did not pay much attention to the airplane at this time and does not know if the pilots performed an engine runup. When he heard the airplane start the takeoff roll, he stepped out from under the sunshade to watch. The engine did not sound like it was producing full power as the takeoff roll started. The airplane made a long takeoff roll and lifted off about two thirds of the way down the runway. The airplane climbed slow after liftoff and started a left turn, with a nose-high attitude. The airplane then stalled and the left wing dropped. The airplane descended into the trees. The engine continued to run until the airplane impacted the trees.

Postcrash examination of the engine was performed by an FAA inspector and a representative from Lycoming Engines. The aircraft and engine fuel lines were found unobstructed. The propeller blades were bent forward, consistent with the engine running at the time of ground impact. A small fire had occurred in the area of the airbox and carburetor. The engine was supported and a fuel source supplied. The engine was then started and allowed to warm for about 2 minutes. When the throttle was advanced to the full power position, the engine obtained 1,700 rpm and ran roughly. The engine was shut down and the spark plugs were removed. The spark plugs had a high buildup of carbon and lead deposits on the electrodes. Magneto timing was found at 22 degrees before top center for the left and 21 degrees before top center on the right. The Lycoming specifications call for 20 degrees before top center. Each cylinder had compression within normal limits. The spark plugs were cleaned and the bent propeller was replaced with a undamaged propeller. The engine was started and operated to full static power of 2,200 rpm with no evidence of failure or malfunction. (See Lycoming Report)

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