NTSB Identification: ERA12CA588
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 29, 2012 in Ashland, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2013
Aircraft: HENRIE RAYMOND ZENITH CH 701 STOL, registration: N234RH
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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’s statement, just before takeoff, he noted that the windsock was “still” and initiated his takeoff roll. About 15 to 20 feet above ground level (agl), the flight encountered a left crosswind causing the airplane to go to the right. The pilot corrected by immediately applying left aileron and left rudder control inputs, then removed the aileron and rudder control inputs. The flight continued and about 30 feet agl, the flight encountered another wind gust that pushed the airplane to the right “faster” than the pilot could apply corrections. The right wingtip impacted a treetop causing the airplane to reverse its direction, descend rapidly, and impact the ground. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Weather data recorded around the time of the accident at the nearest observation facility indicated wind from 30 degrees at 9 knots. A representative of the airplane designer reported that a 5- to 10-knot crosswind is well within the airplane’s maximum demonstrated crosswind limitation.

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

The pilot’s inadequate compensation for crosswind conditions during initial climb, which resulted in an impact with trees and terrain.

Full narrative available

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