ANC95LA125
ANC95LA125

On July 23, 1995, about 1200 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 207 airplane, N75738, sustained substantial damage when it collided with brush and terrain during an attempted takeoff from an improved, but not maintained, rural airstrip at Serpentine Hot Springs. Serpentine Hot Springs is located approximately 45 miles southeast of Shishmaref, Alaska. The airline transport certificated pilot and five passengers aboard were not injured. The 14 CFR Part 91 flight operated in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan.

The pilot reported he was attempting to takeoff into a 15 to 18 knot northeasterly wind. The wind favored runway 09, which slopes uphill approximately 3 percent. The pilot estimated the runway length as 1,300 feet long and 50 feet wide. In his written statement to the NTSB, the pilot states that the airplane lifted off after 3/4 of the runway had been used, accelerated in ground effect, and then began to climb. He said the airplane crossed the brush line at the end of the runway, and the airplane, "...encountered mechanically induced wind shear and downdrafts." He said that the stall warning horn went off, the airplane shuddered, and began to sink towards the brush. The airplane settled into the brush about 500 feet beyond the end of the runway.

An airframe and powerplant aviation mechanic who went to the site and inspected the wreckage, said, in part: "The runway is about 1,200 feet long...the site the airplane was recovered from was approximately 200 feet from the end of the runway. The aircraft had contacted the ground four times between the end of the runway and where it finally stopped. The first time was in four foot high willows about 50 feet from the end of the runway. Tracks from the aircraft right and left main gear could be seen in the dirt at the northeast end of the runway about 150 feet from the first point of contact in the willows."

A witness on the ground who saw the takeoff, said, in a portion of her written statement: "The airplane used the length of the runway and was airborne when its landing gear began to brush the willows beyond the runway."

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