WPR13CA039
WPR13CA039

The pilot was practicing touch-and-go landings with a reported 9-knot wind, clear skies, and no mention of any crosswind gusts. On the right crosswind and downwind legs, the pilot noted light turbulence. After a short approach and a smooth landing, he applied power to achieve rotation speed. However, as the airplane lifted off by only a few feet, it started getting blown left of the center line. Despite full rudder and aileron deflection correction to counter the crosswind, the airplane continued to point across a taxiway. While pointing sideways to the runway, the airplane was traveling at takeoff speed, yet not climbing at a rate that would clear parked aircraft. The pilot decided to abort the takeoff, and subsequently the airplane collided with the tail of a parked helicopter, spun a few degrees clockwise, and came to rest perched on its left wing, which sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported that he had accumulated 3 hours in light sport airplanes, and felt that because of their light weight, they were more susceptible to crosswinds and turbulence than other airplanes he had flown. He also noted that the controls were configured significantly different than any of the other airplanes he had flown. His previous flights in the accident make/model were in calm air, and he felt his time in this make/model was insufficient to instill the reflexive familiarity necessary to control the airplane during takeoff with a strong crosswind.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page