Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Maule MX-7-235 Star Rocket, N56681: Accident occurred December 15, 2016 in Willow, Alaska

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report- National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA101
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, December 15, 2016 in Willow, AK
Aircraft: MAULE MX 7, registration: N56681
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.

The pilot of a tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that during takeoff from a remote airstrip, the airplane impacted a snowdrift and was "launched" into the air. Subsequently, he heard something break. He added that the airplane appeared to be fine with no indications of a problem other than the left tire "looked a little off". The pilot returned to his original departure airport without further incident.

During a post-accident examination, his mechanic discovered that the tubing in the bottom of the fuselage where the olio strut attached to the main landing gear was broken. 

The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

As a safety recommendation, the pilot added that walking the runway prior to takeoff might have revealed the snowdrift.

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