Aircraft: Piper Cherokee Archer. Injuries: None. Location: Santa Barbara, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The airplane was aligned with the centerline of the runway as the pilot applied full power. It accelerated and then began to veer left.
The pilot immediately added right rudder to correct, but the airplane did not respond to the control input.
The pilot reduced power to abort the takeoff, but seeing runway signs in his path, he added full power again in an attempt to get airborne to avoid hitting the signs.
After becoming airborne, the airplane’s right main landing and stabilator hit one of the runway signs.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff.
NTSB Identification: WPR12CA083
This January 2012 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.