The pilot reported that during the takeoff run, just before liftoff from a frozen, snow-covered lake in Tanana, Alaska, the ski-equipped Piper PA-18 bounced over a snow drift.
The pilot applied corrective action, however, rudder control inputs were momentarily unresponsive and the left wing tip hit the snow-covered lake.
The pilot regained rudder authority and continued the takeoff.
After the plane became airborne, he learned that his rear seat passenger’s foot (boot) inadvertently interfered with the rudder control pedal.
The pilot continued the flight to his planned destination and landed without further incident. After landing, he noted damage to the left wing, which was later classified as substantial damage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the passenger inadvertently interfered with the rudder control pedal, which resulted in a loss of directional control during takeoff.
NTSB Identification: ANC14CA018
This March 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.