NTSB Identification: LAX92LA003.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45695.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 03, 1991 in PALO ALTO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA C-172N, registration: N3318E
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 STUDENT PILOT SAID SHE WAS PRACTICING SOFT FIELD TAKEOFFS AND LANDINGS DURING THE SOLO INSTRUCTIONAL SESSION. GROUND WITNESSES AT THE AIRPORT REPORTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT ACHIEVED A VERY STEEP CLIMB ANGLE AFTER ROTATION FOR THE TAKEOFF INITIAL CLIMB. THE AIRCRAFT THEN BEGAN DRIFTING TO THE LEFT IN A NOSE HIGH DESCENT ATTITUDE AND THE LEFT WING COLLIDED WITH A TREE ON A GOLF COURSE ADJACENT TO THE AIRPORT. THE AIRCRAFT WAS EXAMINED BY FAA AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTORS. CONTROL SYSTEM CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED THROUGHOUT THE AIRCRAFT. NO ABNORMAL SYSTEM CONDITIONS WERE NOTED DURING THE EXAMINATION. THE RUDDER TRIM CONTROL WAS FOUND POSITIONED AT ABOUT 50 PERCENT TO THE LEFT.

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

AN INFLIGHT LOS OF CONTROL DUE TO THE FAILURE OF THE STUDENT PILOT TO CORRECTLY CONFIGURE THE RUDDER TRIM FOR TAKEOFF.

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