The pilot reported that during takeoff from the airport in Keller, Texas, a flock of ducks crossed his flightpath, and with insufficient runway remaining to reject the takeoff, he remained low to fly under them.
Unable to climb, the Cessna 140’s tailwheel hit a fence post beyond the departure end of the runway.
The pilot returned and landed safely, however the airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder and the right elevator.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inability to gain altitude normally in order to avoid a flock of ducks flying overhead during takeoff, which resulted in the airplane striking a fence.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA128
This February 2018 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.