NTSB Identification: ANC05CA050.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2005 in False Pass, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N3996Z
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private certificated pilot was departing from an open area of tundra, which was about 800 feet long by 600 feet wide. He said the wind was from the southeast about 10 to 15 knots, and he began a takeoff toward the southeast. The pilot said that just after liftoff, a few feet in the air, the airplane encountered a downdraft. The left wing struck the ground, and the airplane collided with the ground and nosed over. The airplane received damage to both wings, the fuselage, empennage, and propeller.

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

The pilot's inadequate compensation for the wind conditions during the initial climb after takeoff, which resulted in a collision with the ground and subsequent nose over. Factors contributing to the accident were a downdraft, and the pilot's inadequate evaluation of the weather.

Full narrative available

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