The pilot reported that, after departure, he flew south along a river for about five miles.
He then turned east toward his destination airport and needed to climb over a mountain ridge.
During the climb, the Cessna 172’s landing gear hit the top of trees. The airplane then nosed down and hit terrain near Carrabassett, Maine.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot reported no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from trees while maneuvering at a low altitude.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA036
This October 2016 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.