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N4453P accident description

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Crash location 43.052500°N, 83.805000°W
Nearest city Flushing, MI
43.063083°N, 83.851073°W
2.4 miles away
Tail number N4453P
Accident date 22 Jul 2014
Aircraft type Aeronca 11AC
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 22, 2014, about 1015 eastern daylight time, an Aeronca model 11AC airplane, N4453P, was substantially damaged during takeoff on runway 18 (2,510 feet by 50 feet, asphalt) at the Dalton Airport (3DA), Flushing, Michigan. The private pilot and his flight instructor sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Father John 77 Flying Club under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area instructional flight that was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot flying, who was receiving a flight check to satisfy the flying club's insurance currency requirements, reported that he had not flown the tail wheel-equipped airplane since September 2013. He stated that during the takeoff roll, before the tail became airborne, the airplane suddenly entered a right swerve that he was unable to correct for with normal flight control and brake inputs. The flight instructor reduced engine power as the airplane departed the right side of the runway. The airplane subsequently collided with a hangar structure located alongside the runway. The left wing and fuselage were substantially damaged during the accident.

The flight instructor reported that the airplane entered a right swerve shortly after engine power was increased for the takeoff roll. When the pilot-receiving-instruction was unable to regain directional control with normal flight control inputs, the flight instructor, who did not have access to brake controls, applied additional engine power and left rudder input; however, the airplane continued in the right swerve. The flight instructor subsquently reduced engine power, but the airplane continued off the right side of the runway and collided with the hangar.

A postaccident airplane examination was completed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airworthiness Inspector. The FAA examination did not reveal any anomalies with the airplane's flight controls, brake system, or tail wheel assembly that would have prevented normal operation.

At 0953, the automated surface observing system (ASOS) located at Bishop International Airport (FNT), about 6 miles southeast of the accident site, reported: a variable wind direction at 5 knots; visibility 10 miles; clear sky; temperature 27 degrees Celsius, dew point 18 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.09 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot receiving instruction’s failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor not having access to brake controls, which limited his ability to regain directional control at slower ground speeds.

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