The pilot reported that during takeoff on a dirt runway in Salmon, Idaho, he rotated the Cessna 172 and as it “went through a dip in the airstrip” he felt a “thump.”
The plane became airborne and he continued the flight uneventfully.
During a post-flight inspection, it was revealed that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the bulkhead and lower skin of the tail cone due to a tail strike.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The airplane’s encounter with a depression in a dirt runway during takeoff, which resulted in a tail strike.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA076
This November 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.