Aviation Safety Letter 3/2003

Things haven't changed much since 1959...

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The pictures above are dated August 1959 and were sent to me graciously by Mr. Don Wright of Ardrossan, Alberta. The story is summed-up as a short field, high density altitude take-off, in 3-4 in. tall dry grass, over obstacles on a hot summer afternoon! The field was about half a mile long, elevation of 2350 ASL, and with the trees as seen in the photos. The aircraft, a Helio Courier, had four people on board. Mr. Wright assesses that the high temperature combined with the type and condition of the field were the major contributing factors to this accident. Weight was likely a factor as well. The aircraft failed to achieve sufficient airspeed to climb clear of the trees and it stalled, but the pilot was able to affect a hard flat landing in the next field.

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