LAX08CA237
LAX08CA237

The pilot stated that shortly after takeoff, the airplane was struck by "severe windshear," which "slammed" the airplane into the ground at the departure end of the runway. He reported that the airport's AWOS (Automated Weather Observation System) was not working at the time of the accident. He taxied his airplane toward the runway, where he waited for an airplane to land. He taxied onto the active runway and departed for a local area airport. The pilot established the airplane on a best rate of climb (Vy) for the initial climb out. About 100 feet above the ground, the airplane encountered the windshear. The pilot stated that his first reaction was to pull back, and maintain the Vy airspeed. Eventually he had to change to the best angle of climb (Vx) to stay in the air. The airplane was not able to maintain altitude and impacted the ground. The nose landing gear folded back into the airplane, which caused structural damage to the firewall. The pilot stated that prior to takeoff the winds were "gusting in various directions of differing magnitude." The departure sock showed variable light gusts. Shortly after takeoff the windsock switched directions and intensity. The pilot reported that the winds were variable at 17 knots gusting to 18 knots.

Archived AWOS weather for the airport at 1535 reported winds from 190 degrees at 7 knots. At 1515, winds were reported to be from 210 degrees at 8 knots, gusting to 32 knots. Winds reported at 1555 were from 250 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 31 knots; with variable winds from 210 degrees to 280 degrees.

In the Recommendation (How could this accident have been prevented?) section of the National Transportation Safety Board Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), the pilot stated that he should not have been in a hurry and waited for the winds to become consistent. He further reported that if he had departed 10 minutes earlier or later it would likely have made a difference on takeoff.

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