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N56646 accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Houghton Lake, MI
44.314739°N, 84.764750°W
Tail number N56646
Accident date 22 Jul 2001
Aircraft type Maule M-5-180C
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On July 22, 2001, at 1044 eastern daylight time, a Maule, M-5-180C, N56646, operated by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it struck trees during takeoff on runway 34 (2,750 feet by 104 feet, dry grass/turf) at the Houghton Heights, Lake State Airport (5Y2), Houghton Lake, Michigan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The intended cross-country flight to Lake City, Michigan, was originating at the time of the accident.

In his written statement, the pilot said that during take off as the tail wheel was lifted off the runway, the airplane moved left abruptly. The pilot said he tried to turn right but instead hit a cone marking the left edge of the runway. The pilot said he pulled the power off but could not stop before hitting saplings. The pilot said the abrupt turn was likely caused by an unexpected crosswind gust or whirlwind that occurred at the same time the tail was lifted.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane at 5Y2. Both wings leading edges showed bends and crushing along their entire spans. One wing was twisted aft. The cowling and fuselage showed bends and wrinkles. The propeller showed chordwise scratches. Several tree saplings in the vicinity of where the airplane came to a stop were severed. Flight control continuity between the cockpit and all control surfaces was confirmed. An examination of the engine, engine controls, and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

At 0955, the winds reported at Roscommon County Airport, 5 miles from the accident site on a 065 degree heading, were calm.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff run. A factor relating to this accident was the trees.

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