This September 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: Taylorcraft F19. Injuries: None. Location: Harper, Ohio. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was departing from a private, soft, dirt airstrip. The airstrip’s owner recommended the pilot stay on the left side of the 12-foot-wide airstrip. Immediately after liftoff, the left wing tip hit a tree branch. The plane rotated 90° and hit the ground. The outboard 3 feet of the left wing was crushed by the impact and the fuselage, firewall, and rudder were wrinkled and bent.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from a tree during the takeoff initial climb.
For more information: NTSB.gov