NTSB Identification: NYC97FA099.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 26, 1997 in FREEDOM, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 180, registration: N1802C
Injuries: 1 Serious,4 Minor.

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 airplane was configured with a single seat, one set of controls, and with seat belts on the floor to haul parachutists. Also, it was loaded to an estimated gross weight of 2,834 lbs; the maximum certificated gross weight was 2,550 lbs. The pilot took off from a soft sod runway (rwy 9) with a crosswind component. About 12 miles south, the wind was reported to be from 020 deg at 9 gusting 18 kts. The pilot reported that during takeoff, the airplane was 'pushed to the right by a gust of wind.' He said that to avoid a telephone pole, he 'made a hard turn to the right, the airplane hit the ground and cartwheeled.' A parachutist seated on the floor next to the pilot, who held a commercial pilot certificate, stated the stall warning horn sounded from takeoff to ground contact. The carburetor heat was found in the 'CARB HEAT ON' position.

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

the pilot's premature lift off, and his failure to maintain proper runway alignment, which resulted in an inadvertent stall, while attempting to avoid an obstruction (telephone pole). Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot allowed the airplane's gross weight to be exceeded, his inadvertent use of carburetor heat, and a gusty crosswind condition.

Full narrative available

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