On October 29, 1995, at 1130 eastern standard time (est), a Piper J-3C, NC88037, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain, shortly after takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal 14 CFR part 91 flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot sustained serious injuries. The flight departed Rochester, Indiana, at 1129 est. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In the pilot's written statement he wrote that after departing runway 29 he initiated a right turn at 200 feet above ground level (AGL). The pilot wrote that "a wind gust blew the aircraft almost inverted." The pilot reported that the airplane then stalled, with insufficient altitude to recover. The pilot estimated the wind speed at 15 knots with gusts to 25 knots. No mechanical malfunction was reported by the pilot.
Four witnesses were interviewed by the investigator in charge and the Federal Aviation Administration. The witnesses estimated that the airplane began the right turn between 50 and 200 feet AGL. Two witnesses reported that the airplane appeared to do a maneuver similar to a wing over, before impacting the ground.
The airplane's right wing was crushed. The propeller, fuselage and engine mount were bent. The landing gear collapsed during impact.