According to the pilot, the runway he intended to depart from at the airport in Waycross, Georgia, was parallel to the taxiway and parking ramp. He assumed that after making two right turns he would be on the runway.
He reported that he did not have any airport diagrams to navigate with, while operating on the airport movement area.
Following his second right turn he noticed a runway sign, announced his intention to depart over the common traffic advisory frequency, taxied onto what he assumed was the runway, observed “faded yellow chevrons,” and added power for takeoff.
During the takeoff roll he observed crossing the runway he assumed he was on, and the paved surface he was on was ending. He retarded the throttle and applied brakes.
The Cessna 182 exited the paved surface and nosed over, coming to rest inverted, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage, left wing, and vertical stabilizer.
The airport diagram, and the pilot’s own drawing of the accident event, revealed the need to make three right turns prior to being on the runway.
According to an FAA inspector, the runway was “clearly identifiable” and the markings were visible.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to use any airport guidance while taxiing, which resulted in geographic disorientation and a takeoff attempt from an inadequate length and unsuitable surface.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA152
This March 2015 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.