This August 2007 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.
Aircraft: Waco YMF-5.
Location: Nantucket, Mass.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to take off with a 10 knot crosswind. He gained enough speed to lift the tailwheel, but before the main wheels left the runway a gust of wind pushed the airplane to the right. Rather then incur a ground loop for the amount of correction necessary, the pilot attempted to decelerate straight ahead. The airplane hit a large runway sign off the side of the runway in the grassy area. The pilot told investigators that he should have requested another runway that was more inline with the prevailing wind.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control of the airplane during takeoff roll, which resulted in an on ground collision with an airport sign.
For more information: NTSB.gov