NTSB Identification: SEA00LA076.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 21, 2000 in RED LODGE, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 140, registration: N3579V
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that shortly after takeoff, the airplane attained an altitude of about five feet and began to drift to the right due to a gust of wind from the left. The pilot corrected with rudder control, however, the airplane continued to drift and would not accelerate or climb as expected. The pilot opted to reduce power and land next to the runway. During the landing roll, the left main landing gear collapsed. The pilot had calculated the density altitude at about 6,267 feet. He also utilized the aircraft's performance data to calculate the takeoff distance and climb rate. The data however, was based upon the installation of a standard propeller. The aircraft was equipped with a cruise pitch propeller. The pilot reported that he felt that the reason why the aircraft would not accelerate and climb as expected, was due to the cruise pitch propeller.

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

A high density altitude and inadequate preflight planning/preparation. Not attaining a proper climb rate, not maintaining a proper runway alignment, and gusting wind conditions were factors.

Full narrative available

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