DEN03LA048
DEN03LA048

On March 11, 2003, at approximately 1200 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-12, N78559, was substantially damaged during takeoff from Central Colorado Regional Airport, Buena Vista, Colorado. The private pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was being operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country flight that was originating at the time of the accident. The pilot had not filed a flight plan.

A witness said the airplane was departing on runway 15, and exited the left side of the runway and went down a steep 100 foot embankment. The pilot said that a "gust of wind hit me just as I was lifting off." The local meteorologist said that the wind was 210 to 270 degrees 15 knots, gusting to 21 knots. The airplane's left wing was bent down, and the fuselage was bent and twisted.

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