SEA08CA199
SEA08CA199

The pilot took off from the mountain airport with a density altitude of about 8,000 feet and winds gusting to 14 knots. According to Federal Aviation Administration calculations, the airplane was loaded to within about 50 pounds of its maximum gross weight. After lifting off, the airplane climbed to about 200 feet above ground level, and then started to sink as it encountered downdrafts over the mountainous terrain. The pilot turned back toward the airport, and during the turn the airplane continued to descend. Prior to reaching the airport, the airplane's wheels momentarily touched the terrain, but the airplane became airborne again. Almost immediately thereafter, the airplane's left wing contacted the ground. The airplane then cartwheeled into the terrain. There was no evidence of any engine or flight control anomaly. According to the pilot, the way to prevent such an accident from reoccurring is, "To not fly in the mountains when the gross weight is close to the maximum."

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