ANC95LA033
ANC95LA033

On March 9, 1995, about 1300 hours Alaska standard time, a ski equipped Champion 8GCBC, N88297, collided with trees during takeoff from a remote off-airport landing area, about 60 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal cross-country flight for the purpose of wolf hunting when the accident occurred. The airplane, registered to and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Fairbanks about 0800 hours.

The pilot reported that he landed in an area of heavy snow and slightly rising terrain in the area of Birch Creek and Clums Fork in the Steese National Conservation Area. After hunting, previous winds of about 20 knots had become intermittent and gusty. Utilizing snow shoes and the aircraft skis, the pilot packed the snow in the takeoff area. In addition, he cut several trees about 800 to 1,000 feet from the departure point to clear a departure path. During the takeoff run, the right ski dug into soft snow, slowing the airplane and extending the takeoff run. After lift-off, the aircraft was unable to climb above additional trees at the end of the departure area. The airplane received damage to the wings and elevator.

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