CHI93LA239
CHI93LA239

On June 29, 1993, approximately 1345 central daylight time, an Aeronca AC7B; N1032E, sustained substantial damage after takeoff from a private strip in Kearney, Missouri. The airline transport pilot received minor injuries and the accompanying pilot received serious injuries. No flight plan was filed for this pleasure flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the Pilot in Command (PIC), after reaching indicated airspeed for lift off, the aircraft "tried to go to the right." The pilot said that after he applied left rudder and aileron, the aircraft lost airspeed, prompting him to put the nose down to gain airspeed. The PIC reported that the descending winds forced the aircraft to the ground despite his efforts.

The grass strip is oriented East to West. The aircraft was attempting to take-off to the west with a southerly wind. The aircraft came to rest just beyond the departure end of the runway. The aircraft wreckage and ground scars indicate the left wing tip made the initial ground contact.

During an interview, the pilot recalled "topping off the tank" prior to take-off. The fuel tank holds 15 gallons of fuel. This weight, combined with the front seat occupant's 225 pounds, and the rear seat occupants 180 pounds, totals 495 pounds. The aircraft's empty weight is 784 pounds, giving a gross weight of 1279 pounds. Maximum gross weight is 1220, therefore, gross weight was exceeded by 59 pounds.

While being interviewed by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the passenger stated that he and the pilot had just taken off, and were headed west with a strong wind from the south. The passenger told the deputy that "the airplane caught in the wind, and the left wing had dropped, causing the airplane to pitch to the left and loose lift."

Later, the pilot was interviewed by a Federal Aviation Administration investigator while in the hospital. The pilot stated that after the aircraft became airborne, he maneuvered the airplane to the right to avoid a small tree at the property fence line. Shortly after that, the left wing dropped.

Postaccident examination revealed no evidence of preimpact mechanical malfunction with airframe, engine or accessories.

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