This October 2007 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.
Aircraft: Cessna 172.
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Injuries: 2 Minor.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The private pilot, who had 438 hours, initiated a takeoff roll on the 5,600-foot asphalt runway. He said the airplane was slow to accelerate and seemed “wobbly.” He noticed that his indicated airspeed during the initial climb was 45 to 50 knots. He turned left to avoid some trees. During the turn the airplane stalled and crashed.
After the flight the pilot recalculated the weight and balance and determined the plane was 132 pounds over the maximum gross weight at the time of the crash.
Probable cause: The inadvertent stall during takeoff. A contributing factor was the pilot’s failure to calculate the aircraft gross weight prior to the flight.
For more information: NTSB.gov