NTSB Identification: SEA00LA078.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 21, 2000 in LEXINGTON, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-36-300, registration: N82698
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.

After completing aerial application operations for the day, the pilot took off to the north on a private airstrip with an approaching thunderstorm cell and heavy rain in the area. During takeoff, winds in the area shifted to southwesterly at about 20 knots, gusting to 25 knots (a nearby weather observation station reported winds shifting from north-northwesterly at 10 knots at 1800 to southwesterly at 27 knots, gusting to 32 knots, at 1900.) The pilot was unable to maintain directional control and the aircraft ground-looped, collapsing its right main gear and damaging its right wing. The pilot reported that no mechanical failure or malfunction was involved.

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

The pilot's failure to adequately compensate for wind conditions upon encountering a wind shift on takeoff. A factor was variable winds.

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