NTSB Identification: ANC14CA027
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 04, 2014 in Wasilla, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2014
Aircraft: TAYLORCRAFT BC12 D, registration: N64518
Injuries: 1 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 was departing from a private grass airstrip in his tailwheel equipped airplane. He stated that there was a slight breeze out of the north. As the airplane climbed above the tree line he encountered a rotor and downdraft and was unable to continue climbing. He elected to set the airplane in an area of trees, resulting in substantial damage to the wing lift struts. The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident Reporting Form 6120.1, he also stated that he had just started flying from the airstrip, and was not familiar with the local conditions. After the accident, he learned that there is often a wind shift/rotor that occurs near the tree line at the midfield point of the airstrip.

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

The pilot's inadequate weather evaluation, which resulted in a turbulence encounter at low altitude and collision with trees. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of knowledge of local wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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