NTSB Identification: ANC98LA073.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 14, 1998 in SAINT MARY'S, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/19/1999
Aircraft: Lake LA-4, registration: N19AK
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 certificated commercial pilot was departing from a river after a day of fishing. The pilot reported that just after takeoff, about 15 feet above the water, two ducks flew into the path of the departing airplane, distracting his attention. The pilot stated that the birds passed on the right side of the airplane, about 6 feet from the windscreen. The next thing the pilot recalls was seeing trees that filled his entire field of view. The airplane's left wing sponson collided with a stand of trees, pivoted the airplane 180 degrees to the left, and the airplane settled into a larger stand of trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

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

The pilot's diverted attention during takeoff, and his failure to maintain a proper climb rate. A factor associated with the accident was the presence of birds.

Full narrative available

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