On August 19, 2008, about 0530 Alaska daylight time, a tailwheel equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N4151T, sustained substantial damage when it veered off the takeoff area after encountering brush during the takeoff roll, about 27 miles southeast of Slana, Alaska. The airplane was being operated by the State of Alaska, Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage, Alaska, as a visual flight rules (VFR) public use flight, under Title 14, CFR Part 91, when the accident occurred. The solo commercial certificated pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC) on August 19, a representative of the Alaska State Troopers said the pilot was taking off from an unimproved landing area when the airplane encountered high vegetation, which caused the airplane to veer off the takeoff area. He said the airplane sustained damage to the left wing and left lift-strut. The representative said there were no known mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to the accident.

In a written report to the NTSB dated August 22, the pilot said due to restricted visibility from the cockpit associated with the over-sized main landing gear tires, and obstacles on the left side of the takeoff area, he was favoring the right side. He reported that as the airplane accelerated, its right wing encountered low willow bushes, pulling the airplane to the right. He wrote that as he aborted the takeoff, the right wing, and then the left wing, struck trees.

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