The Cessna 172 pilot was using an iPad for navigation, and mistakenly landed in a field near Watertown, Conn., rather than his intended destination, an airport with a turf runway.
After landing, he taxied the airplane to a corner of the field and commenced a takeoff roll, estimating the available takeoff distance to be about 600 feet.
Just after takeoff, the left wing hit a tree and the plane subsequently hit the ground, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and engine firewall and minor injuries to the pilot.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s decision to takeoff from a field which resulted in a collision with trees and the ground. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to correctly identify the destination airport and runway, which resulted in an off-airport landing in the field.
NTSB Identification: ERA14CA430
This September 2014 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.