Failure to follow procedure bends Cessna

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Fort Myers, Fla. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, who was practicing touch and goes, a gust of wind pushed the plane to the left after the eighth landing. He applied full right aileron, but could not stop the uncommanded turn. The airplane went off the runway and into a ditch.

During a subsequent examination of the wreckage, an FAA inspector found the flaps extended 30°. The normal go-around procedure for the Cessna 172 calls for flaps at 20°.

No anomalies were found with the airplane. The reported wind at the airport about the time of the accident was from 350° at 7 knots.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the takeoff roll. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s attempt to takeoff with full flaps.

NTSB Identification: ERA11CA096

This December 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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