On August 16, 1998, about 0900 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N8252C, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from an off airport site located about 40 miles west of Tok, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) local area personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on August 18, the pilot reported that he was attempting a southwesterly departure from a 650 feet long off airport site. He stated that about midway into the takeoff run, the airplane became airborne, but failed to gain sufficient altitude to clear a stand of willow trees at the end of the airstrip. The pilot said: "I was about 5 or 6 feet high when strong winds pushed the airplane into the willows at the end of the site."

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, and right wing lift strut.

The pilot reported in his written statement to the NTSB, that the wind conditions at the time of the accident were from the southwest at 15 knots, with peak gusts to 20 knots.

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