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N90TC accident description

Kansas map... Kansas list
Crash location 38.903889°N, 97.235833°W
Nearest city Abilene, KS
38.917222°N, 97.213909°W
1.5 miles away
Tail number N90TC
Accident date 29 Jul 2002
Aircraft type Piper PA-30
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 29, 2002, at 1530 central daylight time, a Piper PA-30, N90TC, was substantially damaged when it collided with trees and wires shortly after takeoff from runway 35 (4,100 feet by 75 feet, dry asphalt) at the Abilene Municipal Airport, Abilene, Kansas. The pilot was not injured. The Title 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight was departing at the time of the accident and the intended destination was Hartington, Nebraska.

The pilot reported that he departed the airport on runway 17 with calm winds. He reported that while climbing out, his door became unlatched. He made a 180 degree turn back to the airport where he landed on runway 35. The pilot stated the winds had switched "to north" at this time. After touching down, he stopped the airplane on the runway and relatched the door. The pilot then continued the takeoff from where he had stopped on the runway. The takeoff was made to the north with approximately 3,000 feet of runway remaining. The pilot stated the airplane became airborne with approximately 1,000 feet of runway remaining. The pilot reported that he retracted the gear right after takeoff and he stayed in ground effect trying to gain airspeed. The airplane contacted trees and wires which were located about 250 yards off the departure end of the runway. The wires that there contacted were approximately 14 feet above the ground. Another set of wires above those contacted were at a height of about 20 feet above the ground. The higher wires were not damaged. The pilot reported that he was aware of the wires and he pulled the power off prior to contacting the wires.

A witness to the accident reported hearing the airplane engines operating normally during the takeoff. He reported the airplane did not appear to be moving very fast on the runway and it became airborne about 30 feet prior to the end of the runway. The witness reported the airplane did not appear to be moving fast after it lifted off and that it "stayed low with a very gradual climb and then dipped momentarily before climbing again." He stated he heard tree limbs breaking, the engine sounds quit, then he heard the impact.

The closest weather reporting station was at Salina, Kansas, located approximately 21 nautical miles west of Abilene. The Salina weather reported at 1553 indicated with winds were from 220 degrees at 10 knots. Calculated density altitude at the time of the accident was approximately 3,780 feet.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot failed to achieve clearance over the trees and wires. Factors associated with the accident were the pilot failed to use all available runway, a downwind takeoff was performed, the tailwind, trees, and wires.

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