The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Cessna 140 was attempting to depart from the runway at the airport in Luray, Va., when a deer suddenly began approaching the runway from the left.
He attempted to steer the airplane left to avoid the deer as it crossed, and in the process, it departed the left side of the runway.
The pilot was unable to stop the plane as it rolled and struck an embankment and collapsed the main landing gear, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a loss of control and subsequent runway excursion while attempting to avoid a collision with a deer on takeoff.
NTSB Identification: ERA14CA412
This August 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.