The student pilot reported that during a solo soft field takeoff at the airport in Sanford, N.C., the tail of the Diamond DA-20 hit the ground.
He lowered the nose, and as the airspeed increased, initiated rotation. After liftoff, the plane drifted to the left of the runway, descended, and hit the bottom of a ditch.
The airplane came to a stop in a ramp parking area.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain a climb after takeoff, which resulted in an impact with terrain.
NTSB Identification: GAA15CA272
This September 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.