The local parachuting flight was to depart from the airport owned and maintained by the pilot. During the initial climb after takeoff from runway 09, the airplane drifted right and struck trees about 500 feet down the runway. The pilot stated that he did not see the trees before hitting them. A passenger stated that the pilot did not make any changes to the airplane’s flight path prior to impact with the trees.
C-180 Fatal (1) Freedom, PA October 27, 2004
The pilot did not perform weight and balance calculations for the accident flight; though, postaccident calculations indicated that the airplane was under gross weight and the center of gravity was within limits. The pilot reported that he did not have any memory of the accident flight. The accident flight was the second flight of the day for the pilot and began immediately after landing from the previous skydive drop flight.