LAX99LA244
LAX99LA244

On July 2, 1999, at 1704 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180, N180HW, veered off runway 25 during the takeoff roll at the North Las Vegas, Nevada, airport. The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot under 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the personal cross-country flight that was scheduled to terminate at the San Luis Obispo, California, airport. No flight plan was filed.

According to the official aviation surface weather observations, the reported winds at the time of the accident were from 180 degrees at 15 knots. The METAR at 1556, about 1 hour prior to the accident, reported winds from 180 degrees at 18 knots. No variability in the wind direction was recorded in the variability column of the Department of Commerce Form MF1M-10C. In his written statement, the local controller noted that at the time he cleared the airplane for takeoff he provided the updated wind information of from 180 degrees at 12 knots.

In the pilot's written statement to the Safety Board, he reported that he was directed by tower to use runway 25. He noted that the wind was variable between 120 degrees and 150 degrees. He was cleared for takeoff and noted the windsock was 90 degrees to the runway. He stated that he waited until the wind shifted around favoring runway 25. As soon as it did he initiated the takeoff roll. As the tail started to lift off the runway, the airplane was hit with a "very violent" gust of wind, which lifted the wing and flipped the airplane over.

The pilot said there were no discrepancies noted with the airplane systems.

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