NTSB Identification: SEA05LA147.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 17, 2005 in Yellow Pine, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N721JW
Injuries: 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.

During the takeoff roll at the remote grass airstrip, the aircraft's right main landing gear hit a mound of dirt created by a burrowing animal, and the aircraft suddenly veered to the right. The pilot applied left rudder to correct the situation, but he was unable to get the aircraft back on takeoff heading prior to it departing the right side of the airstrip surface. Soon after departing the takeoff surface, the aircraft's landing gear rolled over some nearby large rocks, and the right wing impacted a tree that was located near the side of the airstrip. The pilot did not see the dirt mound during the takeoff roll because it was hidden by tall grass/weeds, and he had not walked the length of the 1,100 foot remote runway looking for obstructions prior to takeoff. According to a note in the Idaho Airports Guide, the surface of this runway is rough and subject to ongoing deterioration, and its usage is limited to "highly experienced" mountain pilots.

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

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for takeoff, and his failure to maintain directional control after the aircraft's right main gear contacted a small dirt mound during the takeoff roll at the remote grass airstrip. Factors include the pilot's failure to walk the length of the runway during his pre-flight preparation to insure that it was clear of objects, a hidden object on the takeoff surface (the mound), high vegetation on the runway surface, and trees near the side borders of the airstrip.

Full narrative available

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