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On August 24, 2008, at 1145 eastern daylight time, a Europro CZ Eurofox, N281P, registered as a special light sport airplane, was substantially damaged when it collided with a hangar during takeoff from runway 17, at Sky Acres Airport (44N), Millbrook, New York. The certificated private pilot/owner and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed, for the local personal flight conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91.
In a written statement, the pilot reported that he was taking his daughter for an airplane ride. He explained the airplane and its instruments to his daughter, and adjusted her seatbelt and shoulder harness prior to engine start. The pilot then taxied the airplane for takeoff from runway 17.
The pilot applied power for takeoff and the airplane veered to the left. He attempted to maintain runway alignment with rudder and aileron inputs, but the airplane continued to veer left as it accelerated. The airplane crossed the parallel taxiway, struck a berm, became airborne, and collided with a hangar. The pilot stated that the engine continued to run after the airplane came to rest, and that he stopped the engine by "shutting off the master and the fuel."
The pilot reported that he and his daughter egressed the airplane with some difficulty because the co-pilot door was stuck, and that they were later treated for minor injuries at a local hospital.
During a telephone interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated that he "panicked a little," and never reduced engine power during the takeoff roll or the accident sequence. The inspector stated that his examination of the airplane revealed operational cockpit controls, the throttle control in the full forward position, flight control continuity throughout, and no preimpact mechanical anomalies.
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a rating for airplane single engine land. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued on May 17, 2002. The pilot reported approximately 600 total hours of flight experience, 65 of which were in make and model. He reported about 35 hours of flight experience in the 90 days prior to the accident.
The Europro CZ Eurofox is a two-seat, high wing, tricycle gear airplane powered by a Rotax 912 ULS engine. According to the manufacturer's web site, the cruise speed was 110 miles per hour (mph), the stall speed was 40 mph with flaps deployed, and the maximum allowable gross weight was 1,235 pounds. According to FAA records, the airplane's airworthiness certificate was issued January 23, 2008. The pilot reported he purchased the airplane new, and that the airplane had accrued 65 total aircraft hours.
At 1153, the weather recorded at Duchess County Airport (POU), Poughkeepsie, New York, 8 nautical miles southwest of the accident site, included few clouds at 2,200 feet, and an overcast layer at 2,900 feet, with 10 miles visibility. The wind was from 220 degrees at 5 knots, the temperature was 23 degrees Celsius (C), and the dew point was 19 degrees C. The altimeter setting was 30.05 inches of mercury. The density altitude was 1,900 feet.
Sky Acres Airport was comprised of a single asphalt runway, 3,830 feet long, 60 feet wide, and oriented in a 17/35 configuration. The airport elevation was 698 feet.
According to FAA Advisory Circular AC-61-23C, Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:
“The effect of torque increases in direct proportion to engine power, airspeed, and airplane attitude. If the power setting is high, the airspeed slow, and the angle of attack high, the effect of torque is greater. During takeoffs and climbs, when the effect of torque is most pronounced, the pilot must apply sufficient right rudder pressure to counteract the left-turning tendency and maintain a straight takeoff path.”