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N5321E accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location 44.665556°N, 83.307222°W
Nearest city Harrisville, MI
44.656402°N, 83.294689°W
0.9 miles away
Tail number N5321E
Accident date 01 Sep 2018
Aircraft type Beech 35
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On September 1, 2018, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Beech K35 airplane, N5321E, overran the runway during an aborted takeoff at Harrisville Airport (5Y0), Harrisville, Michigan. The private rated pilot sustained minor injuries and the three passengers were not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The flight was departing at the time of the accident.

A 32 second video of the takeoff attempt was reviewed and showed the following. As the video began the airplane was already in the takeoff roll on the grass runway that was defined by large yellow cones. At 14 seconds the airplane veered toward the left side of the runway until 22 seconds when a loud noise was heard from the end of the runway. The airplane made a sharp right turn then slid on the runway toward the trees where it came to rest (figure 1).

The Sheriff's deputy who responded to the scene reported that he spoke to the pilot after the accident. The pilot stated that he could not get the airplane up to speed because of the tall grass on the runway. The pilot added that the data he had for the airport showed an additional 600 ft available runway. The pilot also stated that he knew he did not have the speed or altitude to make it over the trees at the end of the runway so he put the airplane back on the ground before going into the woods.

The deputy's photos from the accident site revealed several lopped tree limbs and tire marks in the grass beyond the left side of the runway.

In a postaccident statement the pilot reported that he flew the same three passengers earlier that morning to an airport where he filled the left fuel tank with 25 gallons of fuel; the right fuel tank contained 2 to 3 gallons and the auxiliary fuel tank was empty. After fueling, the pilot proceeded to takeoff from a 2,952-ft-long asphalt runway and climbed to 50 ft above ground level before reaching 1,500 ft of runway distance. They landed at 5Y0, a 2,140 ft x 60 ft grass runway, without incident and consumed about 5 gallons of fuel during the flight.

About 1400 they returned to the airplane and the pilot completed a preflight inspection and an engine run-up with no anomalies noted. He taxied to runway 21 and extended 10° of flaps. He started the takeoff roll and noted that the first 200 ft of the runway was soft and consisted of long grass, while the rest of the runway consisted of sand and patches of weeds. The pilot stated that during the takeoff roll he was able to lift the nose wheel off the runway around 300 ft and the main landing gear lifted off near mid-field where he kept the airplane in ground effect. About three-fourths of the way down the runway, while still in ground effect, the airplane would not gain altitude and the left wing contacted the trees on the left side. The pilot stated that it felt like the airplane was being pulled into the trees. The pilot aborted the takeoff, attempted to stop the airplane in the grass, but collided with trees at the end of the runway.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the engine or airframe that would have precluded normal operation.

The airplane's pilot operating handbook (POH) states that the maximum ramp weight is 2,960 lbs and the maximum takeoff weight is 2,950 lbs. The aft center of gravity (CG) limit at 2,950 lbs is 84.7 inches aft of datum.

The pilot provided a completed weight and balance loading form for the accident flight, which noted that the ramp weight was 2,948 lbs (2 lbs under the limitation) and the takeoff weight was 2,938 lbs (12 lbs under the limitation). The calculated CG was 84.77 inches aft of datum (0.07 inches over the limitation).

Using the same weight and balance information for the previous flight, except with 25 gallons of fuel, the ramp weight would have been 2,978 lbs and the takeoff weight 2,968 lbs; both of these weights exceeded the maximum ramp and takeoff weights, an exceedance of 18 lbs for both weight limitations as specified in the POH. Also, the calculated CG was 84.7 inches aft of datum.

At the request of the deputy the pilot submitted a blood sample while on scene. Forensic analysis of the sample was negative for alcohol.

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