On September 14, 2000, about 1530 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire equipped Champion 7GCBC airplane, N9654S, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from an off airport site, about 40 miles east of Sparrevohn, Alaska, at 61 degrees 01 minutes north latitude, 154 degrees 08 minutes west longitude. The solo certificated commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated about 1200, from the Birchwood Airport, Chugiak, Alaska.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on October 1, the pilot reported that he started a southwesterly takeoff run from a 1,500 feet long remote sand bar. He said that just after lift-off, as the airplane started to climb, a strong gust of wind from the right lifted the right wing, and rolled the airplane about 90 degrees. He said that as he applied full right aileron to correct for the roll, the airplane's wings leveled, but that it was in an uncontrolled decent. The airplane continued to descend and struck an embankment. It sustained substantial damage to the wings, wing lift struts, and fuselage.

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

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