On September 2, 2002, about 1600 Alaska daylight time, a tundra tire-equipped Cessna 185 airplane, N9808X, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees during the takeoff roll from a remote airstrip, about 58 miles east of Seward, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The airplane was operated by the pilot, with an intended destination of Merrill Field, Anchorage, Alaska. The commercial certificated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed, nor was one required.

On October 1, 2002, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) that the accident airplane received damage during takeoff from a grass-covered airstrip on Montague Island.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on October 2, the pilot reported that he was departing an old Forest Service airstrip located at Patton Bay on Montague Island for a flight to Merrill Field. The airstrip is oriented northeast/southwest, and is about 800 feet long by about 30 feet wide. The pilot said that he taxied to the end of the airstrip to depart toward the southwest. He applied full power and the airplane began to veer to the left. He said he attempted to correct the left turn by application of the right brake, but the airplane slid on the wet grass surface of the runway. The left wing struck the top of a small tree along the left side of the airstrip. The pilot indicated the airplane continued in a left arc, off the left side of the runway, and collided with a large tree. The airplane received damage to the left wing, fuselage, engine motor mounts, and propeller.

The pilot reported the wind at the time of the accident was from the north at 10 knots.

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