The pilot reported that during takeoff with a gusting crosswind at the airport in Laural, Mont., he was surprised by the Aviat A-1C-200’s door popping open as the right wing lifted up. He attempted to level the wings, but was unsuccessful.
The left wing tip touched the grass beside the runway, the airplane pivoted around, and the right landing gear collapsed as it made contact with the ground.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wing and to the fuselage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff with a gusting crosswind, which resulted in the collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s distraction when the door popped open.
NTSB Identification: WPR14CA076
This December 2013 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.