CHI06LA139
CHI06LA139

On May 25, 2006, at 1810 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N3310P, sustained substantial damage when the left wing hit a tree and subsequently impacted the terrain after takeoff from runway 08 (2,400 feet by 90 feet, grass) at the Field of Dreams Airport (H80), Hale, Michigan. The pilot and three passengers were not injured. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight was departing H80 with Willow Run Airport (YIP), Ypsilanti, Michigan, as the intended destination. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he used the entire length of the runway to "build up takeoff speed." He reported the airplane lifted off the ground with about 800 feet of runway remaining. He reported, "Cross wind pushed aircraft left into tree line. Could not climb over tree at end of runway." The left wing clipped the tree about 40 feet above the ground, and the airplane landed in a field straight ahead. The landing gear hit a fence while landing.

The pilot reported, "Cross wind had greater effect than anticipated based on the windsock. Blown into the path of the tree line. Possible gusting of wind." The pilot indicated there was no mechanical malfunction or failure.

The pilot reported that the windsock indicated winds from 110 degrees at 7 - 10 knots.

The inspection of the accident site by the Michigan State Police revealed that a large oak tree 55 feet in height was located about 330 feet from the runway and 75 feet left of center of runway 08. (The location of the tree was identified on a third-party commercial website for H08, and was depicted in the Michigan Airport Directory) Debris from the airplane was observed in the tree.

A Federal Aviation Administration airworthiness inspector examined the airplane. The inspection of the engine revealed that the crankshaft rotated and all cylinders exhibited thumb compression. The valve and drive train exhibited continuity. The inspector reported that the ignition timing was correct, the spark plugs were good, and the magnetos sparked. Throttle and mixture control continuity was confirmed. The fuel selector was found in the OFF position. There was 1/2 tank of fuel in each fuel tank. The propeller exhibited minor damage.

The inspector reported that the airplane had about a 964-pound useful load limit. He reported that the combined weight of the pilot and three passengers was about 800 pounds, and the fuel weighed about 160 pounds.

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