On May 21, 2005, at 0830 central daylight time, a Cessna R182, N7361Y, collided with the terrain following a loss of control while taking off from runway 36 (3,752 feet by 100 feet asphalt), at the Vandalia Municipal Airport (VLA), Vandalia, Illinois. The pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident. The intended destination was Greenville Airport (GRE), Greenville, Illinois.

A witness reported seeing the airplane takeoff on runway 36. She stated that approximately 20 seconds after taking off, the airplane entered a 90-degree left bank and disappeared below the tree line.

The airplane collided with a freshly planted bean field. The impact site was approximately 3,000 feet down the length of the runway and about 500 feet west of the runway.

Post-accident examination of the wreckage was conducted by inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration; Springfield, Illinois, Flight Standards District Office. The inspectors reported that flight control continuity was established from the cockpit controls to all of the flight control surfaces, and the landing gear and flaps were in the retracted position. They reported the propeller blades exhibited "S" bending and chordwise scratching, and that engine continuity was established. The inspectors reported that no airframe or engine failures/malfunctions were found which would have resulted in the accident.

The accident occurred on the second flight since the aircraft annual inspection was completed. On the day prior to the accident the pilot took off from VLA and returned shortly thereafter stating he was not able to complete the flight because of weather in the area.

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