NTSB Identification: CHI04LA285.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 29, 2004 in Perham, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N7977H
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain after takeoff from runway 12. The local instructional flight was originating at the time of the accident. The flight instructor stated that after takeoff the airplane "did not want to climb out of ground effect, upon pulling back further on the elevator something was preventing the full travel of the stick." He reported that about 1,000 feet down the runway the dual student input too much left rudder causing a skidding turn to the left. He noted that the airplane's heading was approximately 30 degrees from the runway heading at that point. He was reportedly unable to obtain more elevator travel and correct the skid prior to impact with the ground. The dual student reported that takeoff rotation was normal and the airplane subsequently "weathervaned" into the right crosswind. He reportedly "induced cross controls" in order to track the runway centerline. In post-accident interviews with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the dual student reported that he had used right rudder inputs to compensate for the right crosswind condition. FAA inspectors conducted a post-accident inspection of the accident site and the accident aircraft. They noted that ruts in the grass leading to the wreckage site departed the runway pavement about 850 feet from the takeoff end and were angled approximately 45 degrees relative to the centerline. Elevator control continuity was confirmed during the aircraft inspection. No blockage or restriction of the elevator was observed. Winds were from the south at 10 to 15 knots.

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

The dual student's improper compensation for the crosswind condition and his subsequent failure to maintain control of the airplane. An additional cause was the flight instructor's inadequate remedial action. A contributing factor was the crosswind condition.

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