NTSB Identification: CHI02LA053.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 09, 2001 in Reedsburg, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/26/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N4303Q
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.

The airplane collided with a runway end identifier light control box following a loss of control on takeoff. The pilot reported that his seat slid back on takeoff and because the nose of the airplane was high, his forward visibility was limited. The pilot reported he felt a couple of "bumps". He then was able to slide the seat forward and abort the takeoff. The pilot reported that he taxied back to the runway and departed for Kenosha. He reported the airplane seemed to lack power during the flight. The pilot reported that he was trying to attach a hand held GPS unit to his leg with a cable when the seat slid back. He reported that the cable most likely became attached to the seat adjustment lever and this resulted in the lever being moved, and the seat sliding back. Damage to the airplane included buckling and puncture damage to the lower fuselage, engine cowling, and left horizontal stabilizer, firewall damage, the tip of one propeller was missing and the other propeller tip was damaged, and a section of the exhaust system was crushed.

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

The pilot inadvertently released the seat adjustment mechanism which resulted in the seat sliding back during takeoff, and his subsequent failure to maintain control of the airplane. A factor associated with the accident was the runway light control box, which the airplane contacted.

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