NTSB Identification: FTW96FA004.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 02, 1995 in ROANOKE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/1996
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N85636
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot obtained two weather briefings for the cross country flight. The second briefing was obtained approximately 4 hours prior to departure. The briefings included a convective sigmet and a severe thunderstorm watch. Lines of thunderstorms (tops to 45,000) associated with a cold front were moving into the area. At the time of the second briefing the winds in the area were from the south at 8 to 12 knots. The airplane departed runway 17. The pilot stated that 'during the takeoff ground roll, at approximately the same time that the tailwheel lifted from the runway' the windsock extended from 'limp to standing straight out due to a very strong gust.' The main wheels had not lifted off the runway, when the wind 'hit,' and 'picked the airplane up like a helicopter or a kite.' The airplane crashed after lift-off. Peak surface wind shifts from southwest through northeast near the time of departure reached 70 degrees with gusts to 33 knots. Witnesses reported winds at the departure airport shifted from the south to the north with gusts to 35 knots. Pilot reports included moderate to severe turbulence below 8,000 MSL.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's inadequate weather evaluation and encounter with a sudden windshift and tailwind. The wind gusts and turbulence were factors.

Full narrative available

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