LAX01LA104
LAX01LA104

On February 23, 2001 at 0845 hours mountain standard time, a Schneider Starduster 300 SA300, N1173, sustained substantial damage when it veered to avoid a truck, struck a bush, and came to rest inverted while taking off from Williams Valley Road, near Chino Valley, Arizona. The airplane was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by a private owner, and flown by an airline transport pilot, who was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which was departing at the time of the accident.

The pilot was interviewed by National Transportation Safety Board investigators. According to the investigator's record of telephone call, the pilot stated that, on the previous day, he had landed on the road due to a broken throttle linkage. On the morning of the accident, the pilot, airplane owner, and a mechanic returned to repair the linkage. When the repairs were completed, the owner and mechanic cleared the road for takeoff. During the takeoff one of the vehicles drifted into the road. The pilot realized he would be unable to clear the vehicle and veered right to avoid it. The right wing struck a bush on the side of the road, the airplane nosed over, and came to rest inverted.

In his written accident report, form 6120.1/2, the pilot reported that a car was driven onto the road, to block traffic, after the aircraft was aligned for takeoff. Because the airplane was tail wheel equipped, the pilot could not see that the car was on the road. Once the takeoff had started, and the tail raised, the engine power began to diminish. An aborted takeoff was attempted, however, to avoid colliding with the car, the pilot steered the airplane off the road. The main landing gear entered a depression and the airplane nosed over. The pilot reported that the reason for the power reduction was not determined.

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