These October 2009 accident reports are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, they are intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Cessna 172. Injuries: 1 Minor. Location: Honolulu, Hawaii. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The student pilot was attempting to takeoff on what was to be his first solo cross-country flight. Conditions at the airport reported crosswinds gusting from the right.
As the airplane accelerated on the takeoff roll the cabin window opened. He reached over to close the window and a few seconds later the airplane rotated and banked to the left. He attempted to regain control of the airplane, but it collided with the runway. The student had 55 hours of total flight time, one hour of which was as pilot in command.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s distraction and subsequent loss of airplane control after the cabin window opened during the takeoff roll.
For more information: NTSB.gov NTSB Identification: WPR10CA019