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N1281 accident description

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Crash location 43.138611°N, 85.252222°W
Nearest city Greenville, MI
43.177531°N, 85.252799°W
2.7 miles away
Tail number N1281
Accident date 25 Aug 2008
Aircraft type Cirrus Design Corp. SR20
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 25, 2008, at 2130 eastern daylight time, a Cirrus SR-20, N1281, operated by Western Michigan University collided with a deer during takeoff from the Greenville Municipal Airport (6D6), Greenville, Michigan. The private pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing. The solo instructional flight was operating under title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated form Battle Creek, Michigan, at 2100.

The pilot reported he flew to 6D6 and was planning on making one night touch and go landing. He stated that just as he was rotating on takeoff, he saw a deer run across the runway. In addition, he heard a loud bang and the airplane veered slightly to the left. The pilot stated he was certain he contacted a second deer, but he continued the takeoff as he did not have enough runway left to stop. Once airborne, the pilot was able to see the damage on the left wing. He stated he maintained an additional 10 knots of airspeed and returned to land at 6D6. The pilot stated the airplane handled "very well" until short final when the left wing dropped and the left main contacted the runway first. He maintained control of the airplane and turned off on a taxiway where he shut down the airplane. The pilot reported he did not see the second deer before it contacted the airplane.

NTSB Probable Cause

The deer that ran onto the runway contacting the airplane. A factor associated with the accident was the dark night conditions.

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