On November 24, 2001, at 1020 central standard time, a Cessna 140 single-engine airplane, N72701, was substantially damaged when it impacted an embankment during takeoff from a grass field near Gilchrist, Texas. The aircraft was registered to and operated by the pilot. The commercial pilot, sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, the airplane departed to the south from a grass field, which measured approximately 760 feet in length and was located adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. The northern half of the field was mowed, whereas the southern half of the field was not. The pilot reported to the FAA inspector that he felt like the airplane's engine was not producing full power. The airplane neared the end of the field where it contacted a two-foot embankment with its tail wheel and nosed over inverted into water. The FAA inspector stated that the vertical stabilizer, rudder, wings, and one of the lift struts sustained substantial damage.

In a written statement provided by the pilot, he reported that he left the carburetor heat in the ON position during takeoff. He also reported that he took off with a "slight tailwind." At 0952, the weather observation facility located at the Scholes International Airport, Galveston, Texas (located 28 miles southwest of the accident site), reported the wind from the northwest at 8 knots.

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