NTSB Identification: ANC05CA084.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 11, 2005 in Pamler, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18, registration: N5408Y
Injuries: 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 student pilot reported that he had recently removed the airplane's skis and reinstalled tundra tires. After adding hydraulic fluid to the airplane's brake system, he boarded the airplane, locked the airplane's brakes, and started the engine. He noted that prior to the accident, he had no intention of flying. While momentarily looking down at the instrument panel, he realized that the airplane was moving downhill on the taxiway. Unable to stop the airplane, he elected to apply full engine power in an attempt to fly. The airplane initially became airborne, but settled into a stand of small birch trees at the end of the taxiway. The pilot said that a quartering tailwind contributed to the accident. The airplane received structural damage to both wings and the fuselage. According to the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report submitted by the pilot, there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies noted with the airplane. However, he noted, in part, in the safety recommendation section of the NTSB report: "Bleed brakes after every ski/wheel changeover."

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

The student pilot's failure to obtain/maintain adequate airspeed during takeoff-initial climb, which resulted in an in-flight collision with trees. Factors associated with the accident are a tailwind and diminished braking capability.

Full narrative available

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