CHI01LA051
CHI01LA051

On December 19, 2000, at 1320 mountain standard time, a Cessna 172M, N13584, collided with the terrain following a loss of control on takeoff from runway 29 (4,600 feet by 60 feet) at the Sturgis Municipal Airport, Sturgis, South Dakota. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The 14 CFR Part 91 local flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot reported that upon arriving at the airport, he discovered that the airplane he was going to fly had snow on the wings. He reported he removed the snow from the wings, checked the weather, and performed his preflight inspection. The pilot reported that during his preflight, he noticed the elevator trim was set "all the way to the bottom", so he set it for takeoff. The pilot completed the aircraft preflight, started the engine, and taxied to runway 29 for takeoff. The pilot stated that during the takeoff roll at 75 to 80 miles per hour, he "slowly pulled back on the control wheel and the plane would not lift off. After the midfield point it still would not lift off. So I proceeded to pull power at which time it lifted up and came back down and bounced one more time before I pushed in power." He reported the airplane went off the right side of the runway and flew over the runway and approach lights before it impacted the terrain. The pilot reported the nose gear impacted a berm and the nose gear collapsed prior to the airplane coming to rest.

An inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration, Rapid City, South Dakota, Flight Standards District Office inspected the airplane after the accident. The inspector reported that the elevator trim tab and the cockpit trim indicator were not consistent with each other. He reported that when the pilot aligned the indicator for a takeoff setting, the actual trim surface was in a full nose down position. The trim indicator malfunction was not written up in the aircraft discrepancy log that is kept by the flying club which owns the airplane.

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