CEN10LA381
CEN10LA381

On July 9, 2010, about 0920 central daylight time, a Cessna 172S, single-engine land airplane, N919YA, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during takeoff from a private rural airport near Goddard, Kansas. The pilot, who was the only occupant, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan had not been filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. At the time of the accident the airplane was departing for a flight to Colonel James Jabara Airport (AAO), Wichita, Kansas.

The pilot reported that the 2,200 foot long grass strip had 35-foot power lines at the departure end of the runway, the grass was wet, and the first third of the runway sloped uphill. The pilot stated that the airplane became airborne further down the runway than he originally expected. He was concerned that he would not be able to clear the power lines and initially attempted to fly under them; however, when the pilot saw a road grader driving across his flight path, he pitched up, added an additional 10 degrees of flaps, and attempted to fly over the power lines.

After clearing the power lines, the pilot felt the airplane vibrating and then noticed that his airspeed indication was zero. The airplane entered an aerodynamic stall, descended, and collided with the ground in a nose low attitude. The airplane came to rest inverted.

The pilot reported that this accident could have been prevented had he considered the negative performance effects of the tailwind, the dew on the grass, and the slight uphill slope of the runway. In addition, the pilot reported that his pitch attitude was too high and that he may have forgotten to reset the engine mixture control to full rich. The pilot also reported that he thought the wind was calm.

The 0853 surface weather observation at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT), Wichita, Kansas, located 8 miles northeast of the accident site, showed the wind was 010 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 15,000 feet, temperature 23 degrees Celsius, dew point temperature 18 degrees Celsius, and altimeter 30.17 inches Hg.

According to the performance section of the Cessna Information Manual, a short field takeoff would have required about 2,181 feet of runway to clear a 50 foot obstacle for an 8 knot downwind takeoff on a dry grass runway.

An examination of the airplane showed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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