NTSB Identification: SEA98LA132.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 12, 1998 in CHICO HOT SPRGS, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/2000
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N28299
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 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 pilot-in-command was briefed by the hotel operations manager that takeoffs to the south were 'not normally allowed,' but the pilot elected to depart to the south due to wind conditions. The manager then insured that the roadway serving as runway 14/32 was properly blocked off and manned. During the left turning crosswind climbout, the aircraft's left wing struck a fence. The aircraft then impacted terrain and came to rest. Terrain to the south and east was upsloping and higher than the takeoff runway elevation. The high elevation of the airstrip (5,280 feet) coupled with the warm ambient air temperature, created a high (7,784 foot) density altitude condition.

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

The pilot-in-command's selection of the wrong runway for takeoff. Factors contributing to the accident were high density altitude, rising terrain and a fence post.

Full narrative available

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