On August 29, 2005, about 1215 Alaska daylight time, a wheel-equipped Cessna 172 airplane, N4714F, sustained substantial damage during takeoff from an off airport site, located about 65 miles northwest of Tyonek, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand air taxi passenger flight under Title 14, CFR Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airplane was registered to Stephen E. Hunter, and operated by Great Northern Air LLC, Anchorage, Alaska. The commercial pilot and the three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The flight originated at the off airport site, and was en route to the Lake Hood Airstrip, Anchorage.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 29, just after being rescued, the pilot reported that he was departing from a 1,200 foot-long, gravel-covered off airport site, with three members of a hunting party aboard. He said that just after takeoff, as the airplane began to climb, a sudden wind change caused the airplane to descend into a creek located at the departure end of the site. The airplane sustained structural damage to the wings, fuselage, and horizontal stabilizer. The pilot said that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane.

Neither the pilot, nor the operator, elected to include a written statement with the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) submitted by the operator. Additionally, there was no wind information included on the completed form.

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