On December 17, 1998, at 1051 hours Pacific standard time, a Weber CA-65, N5656, collided with terrain following a loss of control during the takeoff initial climb from the Red Bluff, California, Airport. The aircraft sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot/owner, the sole occupant, suffered serious injuries. The personal flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Redding, California. The flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that he had wrapped the right seat belt around the right control stick to hold it back while starting the engine. He stated that he forgot to remove the seat belt before takeoff and the aircraft stalled and veered left off the runway. He further reported that the airplane is configured with side-by-side seating and he was flying from the left seat. In his report the pilot suggested that the accident could have been prevented by doing "a complete check with [the] checklist before taxiing."

According to the Federal Aviation Administration airman records, the last medical of record for the pilot was a third-class certificate issued on June 27, 1994. The pilot reported that he had last received a biennial flight review in 1993.

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