This January 2009 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: Lancaster, N.Y. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot was soloing for the first time. The first two landings went well. As the airplane accelerated for the third takeoff, it veered to the left. The student applied right rudder but it was not enough to keep the airplane from going off the left side of the runway and into a snowbank, where it nosed over. The student stated that the winds were calm and the ailerons were in a neutral position during the takeoff. No mechanical issues were found during the investigation.
Probable cause: Failure to maintain directional control during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the student pilot’s lack of solo flight experience and the snow bank off the left side of the runway.
For more information: NTSB.gov