On September 18, 1994, at approximately 1007 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Arctic Tern S-1B2 airplane, N74AT, registered to and operated by the pilot-in-command, collided with terrain shortly after taking off from the Big Lake airport, about 25 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. The student pilot, the sole occupant, received serious injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 for the purpose of performing touch & goes at the airport, had just taken off when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions with a light wind and drizzle reportedly prevailed in the area and there was no record of a flight plan.

Witnesses reported to the Alaska State trooper at the scene that the plane made a west runway departure and that shortly after becoming airborne, it banked to the left (left wing dropped) and descended at a steep angle to the ground.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) responded to the accident scene and inspected the airplane. No mechanical malfunction was found. The pilot's certificate information was obtained from FAA Airman and Medical records maintained in Oklahoma City. The pilot's aeronautical experience was not recorded by the FAA and the pilot did not provide any experience information.

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