On May 25, 1999, about 1327 eastern daylight time, a Howard DGA-15P, N79M, was substantially damaged when it struck the ground during the initial climb after takeoff from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Covington (CVG), Kentucky. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan had been filed for the flight destined for the Wendell H. Ford Airport, Hazard, Kentucky. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to air traffic control voice transcripts, the pilot received progressive taxi instructions to runway 18R, and was told to hold short, for landing and departing traffic. The airplane was then cleared for departure on runway 18R; however, the pilot made a right turn and departed runway 36L.

In a written statement, the pilot said the winds were from 260 to 280 degrees, at 15 to 23 knots, and he used the airplane's rudder to correct for the crosswind conditions. After lift off, the airplane "weather vaned" into the wind. The pilot stated there was "not enough rudder left to correct for [the] crosswind, [and] the airplane would not pick up speed for flight." The airplane drifted off the left side of the runway, then "dropped" to the ground.

During the impact, the airplane's right wing contacted the ground and partially separated.

The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions of the airframe or engine.

The pilot reported 541 hours of total flight experience, of which, 106 hours were in the make and model of the accident airplane.

A weather observation taken at the airport, at 1354, reported the winds were from 260 degrees, at 13 knots, with 24 knot gusts.

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