NTSB Identification: NYC95LA072
Accident occurred Sunday, March 12, 1995 in SKANEATELES, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 120, registration: N77467
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

This was the student's final cross-country flight needed to qualify for his private pilot license. He reported about 140 solo takeoffs in the aircraft. According to the pilot, 'I executed a sharp 180 degree turn and lined up with the centerline. Since I stopped at this point and did not pull ahead, the tailwheel was unlocked and at approximately 90 degrees to the runway axis. Upon applying power, the tailwheel carried the rear of the plane slightly to the right (and the nose to the left) as it straightened out to trail behind. My reaction to the leftward movement of the nose was to apply right rudder... As the craft rolled off the pavement on its straight, misguided course, the left wheel approached a snow pile at the intersection of a taxiway with the runway.' The pilot reduced power to abort the takeoff. Upon the application of brakes, the aircraft nosed over and came to rest inverted. The piloted stated the accident could have been prevented by a better understanding of the tailwheel mechanism, and a better familiarity with the braking characteristics of the aircraft

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control and his improper use of the brakes.

Full narrative available

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