NTSB Identification: SEA97LA140.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 13, 1997 in MONUMENT VALLEY, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Republic RC-3-1, registration: N6290K
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot attempted a takeoff with the wind blowing at 30 knots and gusting to 45 knots. Reportedly, the wind was blowing through large rock formations near the airport, the wind direction was constantly varying, and strong downdrafts were being created. The pilot reported that when the aircraft was about 300 feet above the ground, it felt like it had flown into a strong downdraft, and he was unable to keep it from descending into the terrain.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planing/preparation, and his failure to maintain sufficient altitude or clearance from the terrain. Factors relating to the accident included: high, gusty, variable winds, and terrain induced downdrafts.

Full narrative available

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