NTSB Identification: LAX99LA243.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 05, 1999 in QUINCY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N2175Q
Injuries: 3 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 airport is in mountainous terrain at 3,415 feet msl; the density altitude was about 5,841 feet msl. High terrain and obstacles were immediately off the departure end of runway 24. The pilot questioned a resident pilot examiner about the proper takeoff procedure. Runway 06 was recommended for the departure due to rising terrain off runway 24; however, a tailwind of 7 to 10 mph existed for runway 06. The FAA Airport/Facility Directory also recommends runway 06 for departure due to terrain. The pilot said that using the POH he calculated a total required ground roll of 2,100 feet. The pilot stated that during the run-up he leaned for best power and set the flaps to 10 degrees. He taxied into position and applied full power with brakes on; the rpm was normal, and the engine sounded good. After passing the departure end of the runway, about 60 feet agl, the positive climb rate of just over 200 fpm turned into a negative climb rate. The pilot stated that he had flown into a downdraft situation and there was nothing he could do but keep the wings level and maintain airspeed as the airplane settled into the ground. At no time did the stall warning sound. The pilot examiner witnessed the accident and said the airplane used most of the 4,100-foot-long runway before rotating. About 100 feet agl, the witness saw the nose pitch up just before the airplane began descending. Subsequently, the airplane rolled left and slightly nose down, colliding with terrain.

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

the pilot's failure to attain and maintain an adequate airspeed for the existing wind conditions, and, his failure to abort the takeoff when it became apparent that the aircraft performance was not as anticipated. Factors in the accident were the tailwind and high density altitude conditions.

Full narrative available

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