This May 2008 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. Injuries: None. Location: Jamestown, Pa. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The turf runway was soft and wet. The pilot, who did not visually survey the runway before attempting to take off, told investigators that he used a combination of short and soft field takeoff procedures. As the 172 lifted off, he noted that the left turning tendencies seemed unusually strong. He applied right aileron and rudder in an attempt to maintain directional control, but lost control of the plane. The wing and nose hit the soft ground.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control after takeoff, resulting in contact with the ground. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight planning resulting in a takeoff from a short, wet, soft, runway.
For more information: NTSB.gov