GENERAL INFORMATION FOR NTSB REPORT: ANC00LA013
Data Source NTSB AVIATION ACCIDENT/INCIDENT DATABASE
NTSB Report Nbr ANC00LA013
Event Id 20001212X20062
Local Date 11/15/1999
Local Time 1206
State AK
Airport Name FOUR CORNERS
Event Type ACCIDENT
Injury Severity NONE
Record Status
Mid Air Collision NO
Event Location ON AIRPORT/AIRSTRIP

WEATHER INFORMATION
Weather Briefing Complete FULL
Basic Weather Conditions VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL COND
Light Condition DAY
Cloud Condition CLEAR
Cloud Height above Ground Level (ft) 0
Ceiling Height above Ground Level (ft) 0
Cloud Type NONE
Visibility RVR (ft) 0
Visibility RVV (sm) 0
Visibility (sm) 10
Wind Direction (deg) 40
Wind Condition Flag U
Wind Speed (knots) 13
Wind Condition Indicated Unknown

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION
Aircraft 1
Type of Operation PART 91: GENERAL AVIATION
Registration Number N5657A
Aircraft Make MAULE
Aircraft Model M7
Aircraft Series 235C
Aircraft Damage SUBSTANTIAL
Aircraft Fire NONE
Aircraft Explosion NONE
Aircraft Type AIRPLANE
Aircraft Homebuilt UNKNOWN
Phase of Flight TAKEOFF
Aircraft Use PERSONAL
Flight Plan Filed VFR
Operator Name
Operator Doing Business As
Owner Name GEORGE E. PALMER
Number of Seats 4
Number of Engines 1
ELT Installed YES
ELT Operated YES
Departure Airport Id 14AK
Departure City
Last Departure Point YES
Destination Airport Id
Destination City MYSTIC LAKE
Destination State ALASKA
Runway Id 36
Runway Length 1500
Runway Width 100
Air Carrier Operating Certificates NO
Air Carrier Other Operating Certificates UNKNOWN
Rotocraft/Agriculture Operating Certificate UNKNOWN
Cert Max Gross Wgt 2500

ENGINE INFORMATION

Aircraft 1 - Engine : #1
Engine Manufactuer Lycoming
Engine Model IO-540-W1A5D
Engine Horsepower 235
Engine Thrust HP
Carb/Injection FUEL INJECTED

INJURY INFORMATION
Injury Summary for Aircraft 1
Fatal Serious Minor None
Crew 0 0 0 0
Pass 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 1
Sequence of Events for Aircraft 1
Occurrence #1
IN FLIGHT ENCOUNTER WITH WEATHER
Phase of Operation: TAKEOFF - INITIAL CLIMB

Events Sequence for Occurrence #1 of Aircraft 1
Event Seq # Event Group Code Subject Modifier Personnel Cause/Factor
1 1 WEATHER CONDITION CROSSWIND FACTOR
2 1 WEATHER CONDITION GUSTS FACTOR
3 1 WEATHER CONDITION DOWNDRAFT FACTOR
4 2 FLIGHT INTO KNOWN ADVERSE WEATHER INTENTIONAL PILOT IN COMMAND CAUSE

Occurrence #2
IN FLIGHT COLLISION WITH OBJECT
Phase of Operation: DESCENT - UNCONTROLLED

Events Sequence for Occurrence #2 of Aircraft 1
Event Seq # Event Group Code Subject Modifier Personnel Cause/Factor
5 1 OBJECT TREE(S)




AIRCRAFT 1 PRELIMINARY REPORT


On November 15, 1999, at 1206 Alaska standard time, a Maule M7-235C airplane, N5657A, sustained substantial damage when it contacted trees during takeoff from the Four Corners airstrip, Palmer, Alaska, at 61 degrees 36 minutes north latitude, 149 degrees 28 minutes west longitude. The solo commercial pilot was not injured. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 as a business flight to the pilot's hunting lodge. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a VFR flight plan was filed. During a telephone interview with the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) on November 15, the owner of the 1,500 feet long by 100 feet wide airstrip, who witnessed the accident, said winds and downdrafts were strong and gusty, and "rolling over the trees." The witness indicated that when the airplane became airborne, the wind pushed it to the left into the tops of the trees. He added the engine was operating until it struck trees. During a telephone interview with the NTSB IIC on November 15, the pilot stated that after warming up the airplane, he waited for a lull in the wind to begin the takeoff roll to the north. The airplane came off the ground about 400 feet into the takeoff roll, earlier than he expected. He said that when the airplane climbed to the level of the tree tops, the strong right crosswind required almost a 90 degree crab. He related that the winds were gusty, and he felt the airplane was on the edge of stalling. The left wing contacted trees, and the plane settled into the trees upright. The automated weather observation from the New Wasilla Airport, Alaska, four miles west of Four Corners airstrip, at 1215, recorded winds from 040 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 25 knots.

AIRCRAFT 1 FINAL REPORT


The pilot reported he was attempting to takeoff in gusty, crosswind conditions. Once airborne, he said the strong right crosswind required almost a 90 degree crab. He stated the left wing contacted the trees, and the plane settled into the trees upright. The owner of the 1,500 feet long by 100 feet wide, north-south airstrip, who witnessed the accident, said winds and downdrafts were strong, gusty, and 'rolling over the trees.' The witness said the right crosswind pushed the airplane into the trees. The weather observation from an airport four miles to the west recorded winds from 040 degrees at 13 knots, gusting to 25 knots.

AIRCRAFT 1 CAUSE REPORT


The pilot's intentional takeoff into known adverse weather. Factors associated with this accident are crosswinds, gusts, and downdrafts.


END REPORT