On October 4, 1998, about 1500 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 172 airplane, N6867X, sustained substantial damage during an attempted takeoff from a remote airstrip at Kako, Alaska, located about 10 miles north of Russian Mission, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The certificated commercial pilot, and the three passengers aboard, were 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 October 4, the pilot reported that the accident airstrip is situated within a valley with rising terrain on three sides, and that the wind was blowing from the northwest about 25 knots. The pilot stated that he elected to depart to the west, and toward rising terrain. He stated that just after takeoff, the airplane encountered a strong downdraft, and failed to gain sufficient altitude to clear rising terrain. The airplane collided with a stand of trees, and sustained substantial damage to the wings, and fuselage.

The pilot noted there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

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