ATL05CA138
ATL05CA138

The flight departed Rock Hill Airport on a cross country flight to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina by way of Lumberton, North Carolina. Upon crossing Lumberton, the pilot saw thunderstorms 16 miles east and southeast of Lumberton Municipal Airport. Instead of continuing the flight to Myrtle Beach, the pilot chose to land at Lumberton, refuel the airplane, and to return to Rock Hill Airport. During the takeoff from runway 05, the pilot reported encountering a downdraft about 50 feet above the ground following liftoff. The airplane then collided with the ground in the grass right of the runway. The post accident examination of the airplane failed to disclose a mechanical malfunction or component failure. Emergency crews responding to the accident scene reported a strong gust of wind ranging from 30-40 miles per hour around the time of the accident with thunderstorm activity in the area.

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