WPR10LA365
WPR10LA365

On July 21, 2010, about 0620 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer G-164B, N7502A, collided with a fence during an aborted takeoff from a dirt strip near Prescott, Washington. Blue Mountain Aviation was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 137 as a local agricultural aerial applications flight. The commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing from impact forces. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight departed Walla Wall Regional Airport, Walla Walla, Washington, about 0600, and flew to a private airstrip.

The pilot stated that he departed Wall Walla with empty application tanks, and flew to the dirt strip. He did not report encountering any airframe or engine problems on this flight. He loaded 375 gallons of the spray mixture.

The pilot reported that there was no indication of a problem until after liftoff; the airplane settled back onto the airstrip. He verified the power readings, and determined that there was insufficient runway remaining to abort the takeoff. He was not overly concerned, and the airplane lifted off again, and crossed a gravel road that was perpendicular to the runway. The airplane settled into a fallow field that was across the road. The pilot completed an emergency dump, but was unsuccessful in getting airborne prior to colliding with a 2-wire electric fence. After hitting the fence, he aborted the takeoff by pulling both the power and speed controls back to minimum levels. The pilot indicated that the engine continued to produce power throughout the takeoff.

The pilot reported that the airfield was flat, and the wind was calm. The instrument and visual perceptions were the same as many other takeoffs that he had made from this strip with equal or heavier loads in warmer conditions. The pilot reported that the gross weight at the time of the accident was 8,265 pounds. The maximum gross weight for the airplane is 9,200 pounds.

A post accident engine inspection revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, which the pilot said caused him concern about flying with this engine again since no problems were identified. He could not explain the loss of lift on this day. He felt that with a longer runway he would have been able to abort the takeoff after attaining liftoff speed.

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