First flight, bad flight

Aircraft: Midget Mustang. Injuries: None. Location: Erie, Colo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The flight was the new owner’s first flight in the airplane. He said the wind was calm when he lined up for takeoff, but as he started the takeoff roll, a left quartering wind blew the airplane off the runway and into a ditch where it nosed over.

According to the pilot, once the airplane’s wheel got onto the grass, he was unable to recover directional control.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the crosswind conditions during takeoff, which resulted in a loss of directional control.

NTSB Identification: CEN12CA537

This August 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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