On January 4, 2004, about 1530 Alaska daylight time, a ski-equipped, experimental Gothard Super Cuby airplane, N3354B, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees after a loss of engine power during takeoff at Anderson Lake, about five miles northwest of Palmer, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a visual flight rules (VFR) personal local flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo airline transport pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on January 4, the FAA aviation safety inspector who responded to the accident site, said witnesses told him the airplane had not been flown for several months. They said the pilot had installed the snow skis and preflighted the airplane just prior to the takeoff. The inspector was told the airplane took off and climbed about 80 feet above ground level before a complete loss of engine power occurred, and then descended into trees. The inspector said the airplane sustained damage to the left wing and spar, and that the pilot was transported to the hospital.

In a written statement to the NTSB dated January 12, 2004, the pilot stated he completed a thorough preflight inspection, and that a loss of power after takeoff necessitated an emergency landing. He reported the airplane received substantial damage to the left wing spar and strut. The pilot did not provide any information relating to the preaccident mechanical condition of the airplane, or what may have precipitated the loss of engine power.

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