The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Christen Industries Husky A-1 reported that, while en route, the engine had “slight roughness,” so he decided to land in an open snow-covered field on top of a hill near Milton-Freewater, Oregon, to troubleshoot the issue.
He resolved the engine issue on the ground and decided to take off downhill with a tailwind.
During the takeoff roll, he “noticed (wind) gust on the tail.” The main landing gear was “sucked down” in a foot-deep snow drift, and the airplane nosed over.
The left wing, fuselage, and vertical stabilizer sustained substantial damage.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to take off from unsuitable terrain with a tailwind, which resulted in a nose-over.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA110
This January 2017 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.