ERA10CA006
ERA10CA006

During a visual flight rules cross-county flight, the pilot elected to make an unscheduled landing to obtain updated weather information. The pilot subsequently elected to depart from runway 36, a 3,500-foot-long, unlighted, asphalt runway. It was a dark night, and the pilot utilized "glow sticks" to illuminate points around the runway. The pilot reported that the takeoff and initial climb were normal. He did not have any further recollection of the flight. The airplane subsequently impacted trees along rising terrain northwest of the airport, substantially damaging the airplane. A witness who heard the airplane depart stated that the engine noise was "loud" with no fluctuations. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector did not reveal any preimpact malfunctions. The pilot received his private pilot certificate about 3 months prior to the accident and reported about 120 hours of total flight experience.

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