NTSB Identification: LAX02LA192.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 08, 2002 in Goldfield, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N480DW
Injuries: 4 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 loaded the airplane to within 200 pounds of its maximum certificated gross weight. He then attempted to depart from a gravel airstrip at an elevation of 5,680 feet mean sea level. The calculated density altitude was over 8,000 feet. The airplane became airborne after the pilot rotated at 60 knots during the short field takeoff. Upon climbing about 100 feet above ground level the pilot retracted the wing flaps. Immediately thereafter, the airplane suddenly rolled left, lost airspeed, and settled into the ground coming to rest about 0.79 miles from the field. The pilot opined that, although the wind was calm upon initiating the takeoff, he had experienced a wind gust and turbulence that caused the airplane to roll violently to the left. The pilot acknowledged that, thereafter, he was able to level the airplane's wings although the airspeed had decreased and the airplane was settling. Regarding the pilot's experience, he reported that he did not have any previous experience taking off from the Goldfield Airport under these combined high density altitude and gross weight conditions.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the airplane during a high density altitude takeoff. Contributing factors were the pilot's lack of experience in the type of operation and a wind gust.

Full narrative available

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