May 13, 2005, Elk River, Idaho / Cessna 150M


At approximately 1745 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged on impacting terrain during initial climb after taking off. The Commercial pilot received serious injuries, while the sole passenger received fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed; the flights destination was the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Airport in Lewiston, Idaho. After taking off, witnesses observed the airplane was below a ridgeline south of the airstrip, but then began a left climbing turn in an attempt to clear trees to the east. Witnesses reported that as the aircraft continued its slow ascent, its nose continued to rise until the airplanes left wing clipped a tree top. The airplane subsequently impacted terrain in a nose-low attitude and came to rest inverted. The pilot later reported that the passenger, who was not a pilot and was more than six feet tall, had a tendency to place his feet on the airplanes rudder pedals. The pilot further reported that after taking off and while in the left turn, he noticed the turn wasnt coordinated and that the passenger had his right foot on the right rudder pedal. The pilot stated that prior to the crash the passenger freaked out and got on the controls. The density altitude was calculated to be approximately 4600 feet at the time of the accident.


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