SEA97LA140
SEA97LA140

On June 13, 1997, approximately 1500 mountain daylight time, an amphibious Republic RC-3-1, N6290K, impacted the terrain shortly after takeoff from Gouldings Monument Valley Airport, Monument Valley, Utah. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, received minor injuries, and the aircraft, which was owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight was departing for Page, Arizona in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed, and there was no report of an ELT activation.

According to a witness at the airport, at the time the pilot attempted his departure, the wind was blowing at 30 knots, gusting to 45 knots. Because the wind was blowing through the large rock formations near the airport, the wind direction was constantly changing and strong terrain-induced downdrafts were being created. The pilot said that during the initial climb, when the aircraft was about 300 feet above the ground, it felt like he had flown into a severe downdraft, and he could not keep the aircraft from being pushed into the terrain.

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