August 1, 2012, St. Petersburg, Fla., Luscombe 8A Silvaire


At approximately 1400 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted the runway during takeoff. The private pilot/owner was fatally injured and the CFI sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
Two witnesses saw the airplane lift off the runway and climb to approximately 20 feet agl when the engine began to “sputter.” The airplane landed on the runway before initiating a second takeoff. During the second takeoff, the airplane reached approximately 50 feet; the engine continued to sputter. One witness described the airplane rocking from side to side, at a slow airspeed, prior to descending nose-first and impacting the runway.


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