LAX08CA079
LAX08CA079

On March 18, 2008, about 1630 mountain daylight time, a Cessna 180, N180LH, collided with a runway sign during takeoff at Moab, Utah. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer. The personal cross-country flight was departing en route to Mineral Canyon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The pilot stated that he taxied to runway 21, and watched a Super Cub and a Cessna 172 depart. He thought that the winds were calm. During the takeoff, he encountered a crosswind, and the airplane drifted off the side of the runway.

The pilot said that the left wing started to fly, so he applied aileron into the wind and right rudder. The airplane went airborne, and then settled off the runway surface parallel to the runway. He heard the airplane hit something as it lifted off. The airplane struck a runway distance marker. On climb out, he noticed that the elevator trim would not work. He returned to the field and landed. Examination of the airplane revealed a dent in the horizontal stabilizer.

The pilot reported that the airport manager said that the gust was a dust devil.

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