NTSB Identification: ANC01LA115.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 19, 2001 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/03/2002
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N5189X
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 newly certificated private pilot, with one passenger, entered a small valley that he thought would lead into a larger valley. After entering the valley, the terrain began rising, and the pilot initiated a full power climb. The valley became too narrow to turn around, the terrain continued to rise, and the airspeed was decreasing. The pilot was able to make a forced landing uphill, on an area of rough, uneven terrain. After landing, the pilot and his passenger were eventually able to turn the airplane around, facing downhill, in preparation for a takeoff attempt. The pilot said that during the downhill takeoff run, the airplane's main wheels struck a series of large bumps. The pilot said, in part: "...when we hit the bumps, just before takeoff, I accidentally closed the throttle, just as we just fell over a fifty feet cliff." The airplane continued to fall, collided with the valley floor, and sustained substantial damage.

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

The pilot's selection of an unsuitable takeoff area. A factor associated with the accident was rough/uneven terrain.

Full narrative available

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