NTSB Identification: CEN09CA249
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 13, 2009 in Montrose, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: PIPER J3C, registration: N41427
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the pilot, immediately after taking off, the prevailing wind shifted from a headwind to a tailwind and he was unable to maintain the aircraft's heading with the runway's centerline. The airplane was blown toward the runway edge and settled onto the dirt beside the runway. During the rollout, the airplane struck a taxiway location/runway holding position sign midway between the passenger compartment and the empennage, resulting in the empennage being bent approximately 70 degrees to the right. Weather reports at the time of the accident indicated that the wind was variable at 5 knots, with 10-mile visibility and clear skies. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident. An examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll.

Full narrative available

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