The engine sound drew the attention of several witnesses. One, his memory perhaps retrospectively influenced by what was soon to happen, described the engine as “clanking and banging ... like a thresher machine,” but several others said it was steady and smooth. One of those, a CFI and mechanic with 30 years’ experience in general aviation, first saw the airplane when it was a third of the way down the runway. He immediately felt that something was wrong. The engine sounded “like it was turning about 2,300 rpm.” He kept saying to himself, “Shut down. Shut down.” But the airplane continued, not accelerating appreciably, and rotated when three-quarters or more of the runway was behind it. The nose came up, but the airplane rolled another 200 yards on its mains before breaking ground.