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Preliminary report: Airplane in forced landing at Willmar Airport did not accelerate

Shelby Lindrud / Tribune This Cessna that made a forced landing Oct. 18 near the Willmar Airport did not accelerate after becoming airborne, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board, and its pilot was concerned it would stall before the forced landing.

WILLMAR — The airplane that nosed over during a forced landing Oct. 18 near the Willmar Airport did not accelerate when its pilot attempted to gain airspeed after it became airborne. The pilot was concerned it was going to stall prior to making the forced landing, according to a preliminary report of the incident filed recently by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Eric Rudningen, a certified flight instructor and the fixed-base operator at the Willmar airport, suffered a minor injury in the incident. A fellow pilot, and the only other occupant in the airplane at the time, was not injured.

The Cessna 150J airplane suffered extensive damage after it nosed over during the forced landing around 11 a.m. Oct. 18.

According to the report, the instructor reported that he and the other pilot had checked the airplane's magnetos and carburetor heat during the engine runup prior to takeoff at 1,500 revolutions per minute, and both functioned normally. They took off on a grass runway which was soggy due to rain, the report stated.

The instructor took control of the airplane during the takeoff and lifted the nose off the ground because they were getting bogged down in the soft terrain. The airplane became airborne about 2,000 feet down the 3,000-foot-long runway, stated the report.

"The instructor stated he lowered the nose in ground effect to gain airspeed, but the airplane did not accelerate.''

The instructor turned the plane and had to level it off due to his concern that it was going to stall.

"He stated that during the landing in the plowed field, he flared too high and he contacted the terrain hard on the main gear.''

The gear dug into the soft terrain and collapsed when it settled to the ground, and the airplane nosed over.

"The instructor did not notice the tachometer, but he reported that the private pilot stated the rpm never increased above 1,900,'' the report concluded.

The forced landing occurred about a mile southwest of the airport in a farm field.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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