On September 28, 2004, about 1745 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-28-181 airplane, N3002T, sustained substantial damage when it collided with the runway and damaged the left wing and landing gear, following a premature liftoff and uncontrolled descent at the Haines Airport, Haines, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by L A B Flying Service Inc., Haines, as a visual flight rules (VFR) positioning flight under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The commercial pilot and sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company VFR flight following procedures were in effect. The flight was bound for Juneau, Alaska.

In a written statement to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) received October 14, the pilot wrote that during the takeoff roll, "the aircraft rapidly and prematurely became airborne and began to yaw right. Then just as quickly, it began to descend rapidly, while continuing to yaw." He reported that the airplane bounced and became airborne again. He said he continued to climb to about 1,200 feet, where he noticed damage to the top of the left wing. He reported he elected to fly the airplane to Juneau, where maintenance and other services were available. About 10 miles from the departure airport, he reported the left main landing gear separated from the airplane. Attached by only the hydraulic brake line, the gear leg began beating on the fuselage and wing. He said he returned to the departure airport and landed. The pilot said that during takeoff the winds were variable from 070 degrees to 130 degrees at 15-20 knots, with gusts from 25-30 knots. He said company policy calls for 10 degrees flaps for all takeoffs, but he wrote, "that may not be the best procedure for light weight, high wind takeoffs." He further wrote that there were no known mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident.

During a telephone conversation with the NTSB IIC on September 29, the FAA airworthiness inspector who examined the airplane, said during the bounced takeoff the left main landing gear attachments were sheered from the wing spar, and that during the subsequent emergency landing the outboard left wing section and aileron were damaged.

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