During the takeoff roll from the 1,400-foot-long runway in Kirkville, N.Y., the Rans S-10 encountered water on the runway and “was not able to gain enough momentum.”
During the initial climb, the airplane was unable to clear the surrounding trees. Therefore, the pilot elected to maneuver the airplane to avoid striking the trees.
During the turn, the airspeed decreased and the pilot made an off airport landing to a nearby golf course. According to a witness, the airplane was about 40 feet off the ground when it began the turn.
In addition, it looked like the airplane “turned too tight,” and that the “wings never leveled out” prior to impacting the ground.
During the off-airport landing, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He further stated, “it was my fault, not the [airplane’s].”
At the time of the accident the wind was from the northwest at 4 knots.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed while maneuvering during the initial climb, which resulted in a loss of lift and subsequent off airport landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to abort the takeoff after recognizing the airplane’s slow acceleration.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA242
This June 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.