On March 30, 2003, approximately 0900 central standard time, a Luscombe 8A, N45799, owned and piloted by a student pilot, was substantially damaged when it stalled and impacted the runway immediately after takeoff. The aircraft was departing runway 26 (2,272 feet x 33 feet, asphalt) at the Sylvania Airport (C89), Sturtevant, Wisconsin, when the accident occurred. The 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight was not on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The student pilot and flight instructor reported no injuries. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The student pilot reported that after completing the start-up and pre-flight procedures, they taxied into position on the runway and began the takeoff roll. He stated that he applied full power and held the control stick full aft. At approximately 40 miles per hour, just as he was beginning to lower the nose, the airplane "leaped off of the ground into the air." He added: "The plane was still nose high and began to bleed off airspeed until both wings stalled."
The left main landing gear and left wing tip impacted the ground, breaking off the left main gear. The propeller subsequently contacted the pavement and the aircraft came to rest on the left side of the runway facing east.
The dual student stated this was his first flight with this instructor. He reported that he had one previous flight in the accident aircraft with another instructor. That flight was approximately one month prior to the accident flight and lasted 1.5 hours. He stated that during that flight he attempted one takeoff, in which the aircraft "got away from him." He stated that he informed the instructor on the accident flight that he was uncomfortable with takeoffs and landings in a tailwheel aircraft.
The flight instructor stated that on the morning of the accident flight, he and the student discussed the aircraft and the plan for the flight. He noted that he was aware the student had only 1.5 hours in the Luscombe. However, he stated that the student did not relay any previous difficulties with flying tailwheel aircraft to him. He added that the student seemed aware of the techniques of flying a tailwheel aircraft.
The instructor reported that after they took the runway for takeoff, the student gradually increased power to begin the takeoff roll. Within a few seconds however, the student abruptly applied full power and full aft elevator. He stated the aircraft was almost immediately airborne. The aircraft subsequently stalled and impacted the ground, according to the instructor.
The instructor stated that he tried to lower the nose but was unable to overpower the student. "The student froze on the controls and didn't relinquish control."
Neither the dual student nor the flight instructor reported any problems with the aircraft or engine prior to the accident.
Both pilots recalled the wind conditions as calm.