The solo student pilot reported that, during taxi to the runway at the airport in Chicago, he saw a fuel truck parked in the grass on the left side of the asphalt taxi lane.
He added that he “assumed that the truck driver had left room for airplanes to get by.”
However, as the Cessna 172 passed the truck, its left wing hit the rear of the truck.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing lift strut.
The student reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from a truck while taxiing.
This July 2018 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.