NTSB Identification: DEN02LA086.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 31, 2002 in Fort Collins, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N5088K
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 student pilot had just finished practicing several soft field take offs and landings with an instructor and was on his first solo flight of the day. After taxing to the end of runway, he pulled the yoke back all the way, and added full power. Following rotation, the airplane came straight up in a 45-degree incline. At approximately 20 feet in the air, the airplane drifted off to the right of the runway, struck the ground with its left wing tip, bounced up and then it struck the ground a second time. The ground impact collapsed and sheered off the nose landing gear, buckled the firewall, and bent the outboard 4 feet of the right wing spar.

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

the student pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control and subsequent inadvertent stall/mush into terrain during a soft field take off. Contributing factors include the pilot's lack of experience and the high density altitude conditions.

Full narrative available

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