Off runway ride in Cherokee

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee. Injuries: None. Location: Indianapolis. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was on a solo flight. He completed three normal takeoffs and landings before attempting a soft-field takeoff. As the nose lifted, the airplane began to veer left.

He attempted to correct with an application of right rudder, but lost directional control, so he decided to abort the takeoff. The airplane went off the left side of the runway and collided with a visual approach slope indicator and its power-supply box.

The student pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented had he maintained directional control with an increased input of right rudder to counteract the left-turning tendencies experienced during takeoff.

Probable cause: The student pilot did not maintain directional control while practicing a soft-field takeoff.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA195

This March 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.

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