NTSB Identification: MIA97LA105.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 31, 1997 in ST MATTHEWS, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N738NC
Injuries: 2 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.

The certified flight instructor (CFI) was instructing a non-current pilot in soft field takeoff procedures. According to the CFI, they took off from runway 14, the downwind runway, because runway 32 was upslope, and the trees adjacent to the runway gave protection from the wind. As the airplane climbed above trees located on both sides of the runway, the CFI said he encountered wind shear and could not fly out of it. He said the airplane went into a left bank and descended. He elected to land straight ahead in a field. During the landing in soft sand the airplane nosed over. The reported winds at the time of the accident were from 300 degrees at 20 knots, with gusts to 27 knots.

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

the pilot's improper decision to take off downwind with gusty wind conditions.

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