Student mistake puts plane off runway

Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: None. Location: Appleton, Wis. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing takeoffs. During an attempted short field takeoff, he accelerated the airplane to about 58 knots indicated airspeed when the airplane veered left.

He reduced the power and applied right rudder to keep the airplane on the runway, but it went off the runway and cartwheeled on its nose.

The pilot said that he may have inadvertently applied left toe brake during the takeoff.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain directional control of the airplane during takeoff.

NTSB Identification: CEN11CA271

This March 2011 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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