NTSB Identification: ANC03LA014.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 09, 2002 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N80948
Injuries: 2 Minor,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 certificated private pilot performed a preflight of the airplane that included his use of a broom to brush frost from the wings and tail. He reported that he used hot water and a squeegee to remove ice and water on the tail, windshield, and wings. The pilot then taxied the airplane to a fueling facility on the airport ramp. After fueling, the pilot said that an engine run-up and a flight control check before departure were normal. He then taxied for takeoff, and began the takeoff roll. The pilot rotated the airplane into a climb attitude at 50 knots. The airplane engine was developing 2,500 rpm, and the airplane began to climb at 65 knots. After the airplane traveled beyond the departure end of the runway, where the terrain dropped away from the runway surface, the pilot indicated that the airplane immediately began to crab to the left and the flight controls felt sluggish or mushy. He began a slow climb, but said the flight controls became even more sluggish, resembling an imminent stall. The pilot reported the sound of the engine began to drop as though it was losing power. He began a slow turn to the left and the right wing dropped slightly, but he leveled the wings. The pilot reported that the airplane began to descend in a stalled condition toward an area of trees. He said he pulled the engine power to off, just prior to contacting several electrical wires, and then numerous trees. The airplane came to rest upright, 1/2 mile south of the departure end of the runway with damage to the landing gear, fuselage, wings, and empennage. Another airplane owner, who was working on his airplane while it was parked at the same facility where the accident airplane was parked, commented that there was "Major frost and ice build up on most airplanes. Mine and others around me [were] unflyable due to this." A METAR at the departure airport was reporting in part: Temperature, 34 degrees F; dew point, 27 degrees F. A postaccident examination of the airplane's engine did not discover any evidence of mechanical malfunction.

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

The pilot's failure to adequately remove frost/ice from the airplane which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush during the takeoff/initial climb.

Full narrative available

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