ANC01LA041
ANC01LA041

On March 7, 2001, about 1500 Alaska standard time, a wheel/ski equipped Cessna 180 airplane, N9383C, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from a snow-covered area at Ophir, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight to McGrath, Alaska, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot. The commercial certificated pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on March 8, 2001, the pilot reported he landed near Ophir earlier in the day. When he was planning to depart, the surface of the snow had become crusty. The pilot said he began a takeoff run toward the south, but the airplane did not become airborne until it was within about 50 yards from several trees. During the initial climb, the left horizontal stabilizer collided with a spruce tree about 25 feet above the ground. The airplane began a descending left turn toward the ground, and collided with several trees while the pilot was making an emergency landing. The airplane received damage to the left main landing gear, the wings, and the left stabilizer.

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