6 Seconds After Takeoff, The Airplane Began To Descend, While Still In A Nose High Attitude
Location: Sterling, AK Accident Number: ANC21LA068
Date & Time: August 2, 2021, 14:58 Local Registration: N8656K
Aircraft: Stinson 108-1 Injuries: 4 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal
On August 2, 2021, about 1458 Alaska daylight time, a Stinson 108-1 airplane, N8656K, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Sterling, Alaska. The private pilot and three passengers were uninjured. The flight was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
The pilot reported that the takeoff roll took longer than normal, however, the airplane seemed to climb normally with one notch of flaps until about 100 ft above ground level (AGL). The pilot said that at that point, the airplane would no longer climb and it began a descent toward trees located off the departure end of the runway. The airplane subsequently impacted the trees and came to rest at an estimated 45° angle and sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.
A video of the takeoff from witnesses near the runway showed the airplane from the start of the takeoff roll until just before impact. The video showed the airplane lift off from the runway in a 3-point attitude, with the main wheels becoming airborne just prior to the tailwheel. The airplane entered a nose high attitude, and ascended to about tree top level. About 6 seconds after takeoff, the airplane began to descend, while still in a nose high attitude until the recording stopped. The sound of the engine was consistent throughout the length of video, with no audible anomalies noted. Additionally, the windsock indicated a slight right quartering tailwheel at the time of takeoff.
The airplane was equipped with a Franklin 150-B4 engine. A detailed engine examination is pending.