On September 15, 2009, about 1700 Alaska daylight time, a Piper PA-12 airplane, N2594M, sustained substantial damage when it collided with trees during takeoff from a gravel-covered, remote off-airport site, about 35 miles northeast of Lime Village, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) on-demand charter flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135, when the accident occurred. The airplane was owned and operated by Magnuson Airways, LLC, McGrath, Alaska. The commercial pilot and sole passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and company flight following procedures were in effect. The accident flight was shuttling a group of hunters and gear to another off-airport site.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge on September 17, the pilot related that before departing from the 900 feet long gravel-covered site, he assessed the wind conditions before departing to the southwest. He determined that a slight westerly wind, ranging between 5 and 10 knots, would require a slight correction for a quartering right crosswind during his takeoff run. The pilot reported that during the takeoff run, as the airplane accelerated, it began to turn sharply to the right, and towards a stand of trees. The airplane’s right wing struck the stand of trees, which pivoted it to the right. The airplane subsequently nosed over, sustaining substantial damage to the wings, fuselage, and empennage.

The pilot noted that a postaccident inspection revealed that his passenger, seated in the rear of the airplane, inadvertently stepped on the right, rear-mounted dual brake pedal, as the pilot began his takeoff run.

In the pilot’s written statement to the NTSB he indicated that there were no preaccident mechanical problems with the airplane. Additionally, he recommended either removing or covering the rear-mounted dual brake pedals.

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