This May 2009 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: Zodiac 601. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Greenville, Tenn. Aircraft damage: 1 Minor.
What reportedly happened: The pilot obtained an abbreviated computer weather briefing before the flight. The report indicated that the surface winds were from 040° at six knots. The departure airport has hills located to the east and north. The surface winds at another airport located 20 nautical miles east were from 240° at 11 knots, gusting to 14 knots. The pilot took off.
The airplane was about 100 to 200 feet above the ground just past the hill to the east when the airspeed immediately decreased, the controls felt mushy and the airplane hit a tree. The airplane continued to lose altitude, and he made an off-field landing in an open field. During the approach the plane hit an electrical line, then an embankment and burst into flames.
The pilot stated there were no mechanical problems with the airplane before the accident.
Probable cause: An encounter with wind shear on initial climb after takeoff.
For more information: NTSB.Gov