NTSB Identification: CEN09CA548
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 15, 2009 in Plainwell, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/2009
Aircraft: PIPER PA-15, registration: N4380H
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.

The pilot reported that he began the takeoff roll in the tailwheel-equipped airplane with a left quartering headwind. He stated that during the takeoff roll a wind gust caused the airplane to swerve. He attempted to abort the takeoff and the airplane ground-looped. During the event, the right main landing gear collapsed and the wing tip struck the runway, damaging the wing structure. A weather reporting station located 18 nautical miles south of the accident site recorded the wind 7 minutes before the accident as being from 190 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 18 knots. Fifty-three minutes after the accident time the same weather station recorded the wind speed as 7 knots gusting to 14 knots and direction as variable between 130 degrees and 200 degrees. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed a failure of the left steering spring chain link. It could not be determined if the chain link failure occurred prior to or during the accident sequence.

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

A loss of control on takeoff for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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