Aircraft: Piper J3C-65. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Shepard, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot, who was practicing touch-and-go takeoffs and landings, said the wind was blowing directly down the runway about 5 to 10 knots during the takeoff roll.
When the airplane reached an altitude of 50 feet, the pilot encountered turbulent updrafts and downdrafts, which caused him to have a difficult time controlling the airplane.
He tried to abort the takeoff, but the plane encountered an updraft and was turned almost 90° to the right, and was pushed over a heavily wooded area adjacent to the runway.
The airplane stalled and crashed in trees in a near vertical nosedown attitude, causing substantial damage to the wings and vertical stabilizer.
Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of aircraft control after encountering windshear and turbulence on takeoff.
NTSB Identification: CEN11CA406
This June 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.