NTSB Identification: SEA96LA166.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 24, 1996 in KETTLE FALLS, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172G, registration: N4478L
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The pilot initiated a takeoff from a 1,850 foot grass airstrip, with an ambient temperature of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The aircraft barely cleared the trees at the end of the runway, then it settled into trees about one-quarter mile from the end of the airstrip. Later calculations determined the density altitude to be approximately 3,000 feet. The pilot reported that there had not been any problem with the aircraft's engine. Later, the pilot stated that he should have either waited to take off when the temperatures were lower, or he should have reduced the fuel load.

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

the pilot's inadequate preflight planning. Factors relating to the accident were: high ambient temperatures; departing from a short, grass runway; and tall trees off the departure end of the airstrip.

Full narrative available

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