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N59220 accident description

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Crash location 41.933611°N, 85.052500°W
Nearest city Coldwater, MI
41.940326°N, 85.000522°W
2.7 miles away
Tail number N59220
Accident date 22 Jul 2007
Aircraft type Ryan ST3KR
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after takeoff. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the passenger sustained serious injuries. The pilot reported that they had stopped at the accident airport for fuel. At the time of their initial approach and landing winds aloft were from the east, however surface winds were from the west. They subsequently landed on runway 25 (5,350 feet by 75 feet, asphalt) without incident. The pilot stated that after fueling surface winds had reversed direction. They were now from the east at 8 to 10 knots. He elected to use runway 16 (2,400 feet by 190 feet, turf) for takeoff because he felt the airplane "handled better on grass." The pilot reported that when the airplane lifted off, it "felt light" and "loose controlled" so he lowered the nose in order to gain airspeed. He noted feeling a "slight bump or lift followed by a rapid drop of [the] left wing and nose." The airplane subsequently impacted the ground. Examination of the flight control system did not reveal any anomalies consistent with a pre-impact failure. Winds recorded by the departure airport Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) within 5 minutes of the accident were from 140 degrees at 4 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain sufficient airspeed during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush condition. A contributing factor was the low altitude at the time of the inadvertent stall.

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