SEA96LA014
SEA96LA014

On November 6, 1995, approximately 0800 mountain standard time, a Cessna 180J, N52095, collided with objects on takeoff from the Diamond D Ranch near Stanley, Idaho. The flight, which had planned to proceed to the Flying B Ranch, diverted to Challis, Idaho, where it went off the edge of the runway on landing roll. The airplane was substantially damaged during the flight but none of the three occupants, including the commercial pilot-in-command, were injured. The flight was a non-scheduled, on-demand air taxi flight to be conducted under 14 CFR 135. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) existed and the pilot reported that a company visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed.

The pilot reported that he took off downhill to the north from a grass takeoff area about 1,800 feet long and about 5,800 feet above sea level. He reported that there was about 1/2 inch of snow cover on the grass. He described weather conditions at the time of the accident as being VMC, temperature 22 degrees F, and winds gusting to about 10 knots. The pilot reported to the on-scene FAA investigator that winds were from the south but later stated on his NTSB accident report that they were variable in direction. At 0808, the automated meteorological observation system (AMOS) at Challis (36 nautical miles northeast of Stanley) reported wind from 180 degrees magnetic at 4 knots, with peak wind of 5 knots.

The FAA on-scene investigator reported that the pilot aborted his first takeoff attempt and returned to the end of the takeoff area for a second attempt. The pilot reported that on the takeoff, he became airborne at minimum controllable airspeed and attempted to accelerate in ground effect, but that the aircraft "did not accelerate...well." According to the FAA investigator's report, the pilot then pitched the nose down in an attempt to pick up speed. The airplane then struck a fence at the end of the takeoff area, shearing off the airplane's left main landing gear. The pilot also reported that the airplane's wingtip struck a tree. The pilot reported that since the airplane flew stably following the occurrence, he elected to proceed to Challis since emergency equipment was available there.

During the divert to Challis, the pilot reported his situation on Challis UNICOM frequency. The FAA investigator's report stated that pilots of two aircraft which responded to the situation landed at Challis and subsequently observed damage to N52095's left wingtip and that its left main gear and tailwheel were missing. On landing at Challis, N52095 went off the left edge of the runway. Photographs taken at the landing site showed the aircraft's left main gear and tailwheel missing, as well as damage to the aircraft's left wingtip, aileron, and horizontal stabilizer. The left wingtip and horizontal stabilizer tip were in contact with the ground in the landing site photos.

The pilot originally stated to the FAA on-scene investigator that the airplane was loaded with 250 pounds of baggage. The pilot later attached a loading chart to his NTSB accident report indicating that the total cargo weight was 100 pounds. The FAA on-scene investigator's report stated that a county sheriff's deputy reported to him that the pilot had unloaded six duffle bags from the accident aircraft.

The FAA on-scene investigator requested the two passengers to furnish a written statement; however, the passengers did not submit the requested statements.

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