Wind gust rolls airplane

Aircraft: RV-4. Injuries: None. Location: Redwood Fall, Minn. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The airplane encountered a wind gust on takeoff roll, which lifted the right wing and caused the airplane to roll left.

The airplane then lifted off the ground about 2-3 feet, and the pilot aborted the takeoff. The airplane touched down on the left landing gear as it was drifting to the left, and the gear collapsed. Then, the right landing gear collapsed, and the left wing struck a runway light as the airplane exited the side of the runway.

The pilot said that the firewall, left wing spar, and an engine mount were damaged.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airframe or engine. He also stated that he should have been more aware of the possibility of sudden wind gusts and wind shear during takeoff.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during takeoff in gusty wind conditions.

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA278

This May 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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