FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Helena FSDO-05
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA284
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 05, 2016 in Ferndale, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2016
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7GCBC, registration: N8777
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
According to the pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane, during the takeoff roll, the airplane drifted left of the centerline. He reported that he corrected the drift by applying right rudder and the airplane began to decelerate. He recalled that he released the right rudder input in order to reposition his foot off of the heel brake and noticed that the airplane was approaching a left landing strip boundary marker rapidly. He reported that he decided to rotate early and the airplane continued drifting left, collided with the roof of a hangar, and dropped to the ground where it caught on fire. The airplane was destroyed by the fire.
The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with any portion of the airplane prior to the takeoff roll that would have prevented normal flight operations.
The pilot's last flight review was 08AUG2009. The pilot has accumulated 165 total hours of flight time and a total of 7 hours in make and model.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's loss of directional control during takeoff resulting in a decision to rotate early, and a collision with a hangar and subsequent fire.