On July 12, 1998, approximately 1950 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172L, N2885Q, registered to and being operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during a collision with a fence and terrain immediately after lift-off from a grass strip one mile north of Lapwai, Idaho. The private pilot and his two passengers were uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal in nature, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and was destined for Kamiah, Idaho.

The pilot reported to a local law enforcement official that he was initiating a southbound takeoff with 20 degrees flaps from a field of 15 inch high grass near his mother's residence. He reported that immediately after lifting off, a wheel struck something, and immediately thereafter the aircraft impacted a fence post and then terrain before coming to a stop (refer to attached Nez Perce County Sheriff Report). In a written statement, the pilot noted that the airplane "hit (a) clump of grass or something in the grass" and that the "plane veered to (the) right upon liftoff (and) hit the top of a railroad tie in the grass."

On-site examination by FAA inspectors from their Spokane office revealed that the right wheel and strut had separated from the aircraft and the right horizontal stabilizer was bent upward several inches.

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