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N3915V accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location 43.713611°N, 84.707778°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Mount Pleasant, MI
42.457251°N, 86.247253°W
116.5 miles away
Tail number N3915V
Accident date 16 Jun 2004
Aircraft type Cessna 150H
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 16, 2004, at 1900 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 150H, N3915V, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it collided with terrain shortly after takeoff from an alfalfa field near Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot was not injured. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The day before the accident, the accident airplane experienced a loss of engine power and the accident pilot performed a forced landing into the alfalfa field. The loss of engine power was determined to be the result of fuel exhaustion, according to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector who responded to the forced landing report on the morning of the accident. The aircraft sustained no apparent damage during the forced landing and the pilot and his passenger were not injured.

The FAA inspector told the pilot that the airplane should be inspected prior to further flight and the pilot agreed to contact a local airframe & powerplant mechanic. The mechanic was unable to inspect the airplane until later in the day, but informed the pilot that he could make arrangements to have the airplane towed to the nearby Mount Pleasant Municipal Airport (MOP). The pilot said he wanted to takeoff from the alfalfa field in order to reposition the airplane to the nearby MOP, according to the FAA inspector. The FAA inspector advised the pilot against taking off from the field and the mechanic restated that the airplane could be easily towed to the nearby airport for inspection. The FAA inspector departed the scene with the airplane still positioned in the field.

The pilot stated, "after much deliberation and speaking with other pilots they suggested a takeoff from the field." The pilot reported he walked the length of the field and then decided to perform a "high-speed taxi" to evaluate the area. The pilot stated he selected "minimal flaps to relieve pressure from the nose wheel." The pilot reported that the airplane contacted some bumps in the field and the airplane veered to the right. The pilot stated he "pulled back a bit on the controls and the plane went up a little and [touched] the left wing and flipped over." The pilot reported that the only reason he attempted to "move the plane" was because there were thunderstorms approaching the area.

According to the FAA inspector who returned to the accident site, the airplane had become airborne and traveled north approximately 210 feet before the nose gear impacted the terrain.

Wind data was collected from the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) located at MOP. The winds at the time of the accident were from 160-degrees at six knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's improper decision to takeoff downwind from the rough field and his failure to maintain aircraft control. A factor to the accident was the rough/uneven alfalfa field and the tailwind experienced during the takeoff.

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