According to the student pilot, he was performing his second solo flight, and he reported a total flying time of 45 hours. As the Cessna 172 became airborne during the initial takeoff, it “…violently veered 90° to the left.”
He immediately applied right rudder and reduced the throttle to idle.
The airplane landed on the left side of the runway in Sarasota, Florida, and it departed the runway surface, into the grass. It then crossed the intersecting runway. As the airplane approached a taxiway, the pilot brought it to a full stop.
An FAA inspector reported that the excursion resulted in a buckling of the engine firewall.
The student pilot did not report any mechanical problems with the airplane at the time of the accident.
A review of local wind conditions at the airport did not reveal evidence of gusts.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the student pilot’s failure to maintain airplane control during the initial climb, resulting in a runway excursion and substantial damage to the engine firewall. The student pilot’s lack of overall flying experience was a factor.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA056
This November 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.