ANC08LA061
ANC08LA061

On May 5, 2008, about 1608 Alaska daylight time, a Champion 7ECA airplane, N9650S, received substantial damage when it collided with trees during takeoff-initial climb from a private airstrip in Soldotna, 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 private certificated pilot received serious 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 May 7, the pilot said he had forgotten to remove the rudder gust lock prior to takeoff, and that without rudder control during takeoff, the airplane drifted into the trees. He said the airplane received substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

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