The student pilot and instructor were preparing for the student’s private pilot check ride. After performing takeoffs, landings, and several maneuvers, they decided to land at a 1,720-foot private grass strip near Bentleyville, Pennsylvania.
The landing was uneventful, and the student pilot taxied back and prepared to take off with 10° of flaps. During the takeoff, after the Cessna 150 became airborne, the last recollection the student pilot had was that the airplane was not climbing due to “low airspeed in the high heat and high humidity.”
The airplane hit the runway about 100 feet from trees at the departure end, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. Both the CFI and student pilot sustained serious injuries in the crash.
The student pilot reported that they did not complete performance calculations prior to the takeoff.
Takeoff performance calculations based on the takeoff distance chart in the airplane owner’s manual revealed that a ground roll of about 1,022 feet and a takeoff distance of about 1,792 feet was required to clear a 50-foot obstacle at the airplane’s maximum allowable gross weight.
The chart (and the checklist procedure) indicated that the maximum performance takeoff was to be performed with the flaps in the retracted position.
Probable Cause: The flight instructor and student pilot’s inadequate preflight performance planning, which resulted in a takeoff attempt with insufficient available runway, a loss of control, and impact with terrain.
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This June 2021 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.