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N9281E accident description

Kansas map... Kansas list
Crash location 38.551111°N, 97.427223°W
Nearest city Roxbury, KS
38.550840°N, 97.430309°W
0.2 miles away
Tail number N9281E
Accident date 24 Apr 2018
Aircraft type Maule M 5-235C
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 24, 2018, about 1400 central daylight time, a Maule M 5-235C airplane, N9281E, impacted a road sign during takeoff from a roadway near Roxbury, Kansas. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane received substantial wing damage during the impact with the sign, and trees and terrain during the subsequent forced landing. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed in the area about the time of the accident, and the flight was not operated on a flight plan. The flight was originating at the time of the accident and was destined for the Mc Pherson Airport, near Mc Pherson, Kansas.

According to the pilot's accident report, the flight was departing from a county road with a crosswind present for a cross country flight. As the tail wheel left the asphalt, propeller torque caused the airplane to shift its direction of takeoff a few degrees to the left. The pilot said that he was slow to respond with rudder input, and the response was also inadequate. The airplane traveled left a few ft and the airplane's left wingtip hit a highway sign as the airplane was leaving the ground. The left-wing impact caused the airplane to turn an additional 20° to 40° left and decreased left-wing lift while not affecting the right wing. The pilot was able to overcome the left and right-wing lift imbalance and was able to "generally regain control." The airplane was still operating with full power, with full flaps, and was climbing rapidly. The pilot was concerned about the visible left-wing control surface damage. However, the airplane was now heading directly at a cell tower with guy wires. The pilot elected to keep the wings level and continued the climb over the tower. He reduced power once he cleared the tower. He subsequently elected to land in a field that had a tree line at the end of the field. The pilot attempted to execute a short field landing. However, he impacted the trees "about 40" kts. The pilot indicated in his report that there were no airplane mechanical malfunctions.

The pilot's safety recommendation, in part, stated, "The bottom line is that I have determined that using roads for takeoff and landing is outside the boundaries of my new acceptable risk profile. ... A few practice takeoffs and landings at an airstrip would have been very beneficial given the 100 day interval between last flight."

At 1353, the recorded weather at the Salina Regional Airport, near Salina, Kansas, was: Wind 320° at 21 kts; visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition scattered clouds at 11,000 ft; temperature 20° C; dew point 9° C; altimeter 30.16 inches of mercury. Remarks peak wind 320° at 27 kts at 1341.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during takeoff from a road, which resulted in impact with a sign.

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