NTSB Identification: ANC08LA061.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 05, 2008 in Soldotna, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N9650S
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 solo private pilot was departing from a private gravel runway on a personal cross-country flight when he lost directional control. The pilot said the airplane drifted off the runway during takeoff/initial climb and impacted trees. The airplane then impacted terrain in a steep nose low attitude. The pilot said he had neglected to remove the rudder gust lock, and that once airborne, he was unable to control the airplane's direction of flight. The airplane received structural damage to both wings and the fuselage.

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

The pilot's failure to remove the rudder gust lock prior to the flight.

Full narrative available

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