This January 2008 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: Luscombe 8E. Location: Brigham City, Utah. Injuries: None. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot initiated a takeoff in the airplane, which was equipped with skis. The Luscombe accelerated to 65 mph. Just as it was beginning to climb, the pilot heard a noise coming from the side of the airplane. He saw that the tip of a ski was dislodged from its normal position, and was upside down. The pilot decided to land on the same snow runway. As the airplane decelerated following touchdown, the pilot lost directional control, and the airplane swerved and nosed over.
During the subsequent examination of the airplane, a bungee cable, used to secure and position one of the skis to the landing gear strut, was found to be too long. Also the ski assembly shock cords were found to be in poor condition, aged, and weak.
Probable cause: The failure of the landing gear/ski attachment assembly due to inadequate maintenance.
For more information: NTSB.gov