The CFI and student pilot had completed the first leg of a night cross country flight and were departing back to their home airport.
During the takeoff roll at the airport in Saluda, S.C., a deer ran onto the runway, colliding with the Piper PA-28-140’s right wing.
The CFI assumed control of the airplane from the student and continued the takeoff, as inadequate runway distance remained to abort.
Once airborne, the CFI did not note any flight control abnormalities, and elected to continue to the destination, where he landed the airplane without incident.
Post-accident examination revealed substantial damage to the right wing.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as an inadvertent encounter with a deer during the takeoff roll.
NTSB Identification: ERA14CA172
This February 2014 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.