NTSB Identification: CHI03LA061.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 31, 2003 in Lakeville, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N670CS
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 sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a field located on airport property. The airplane was departing when the forced landing was initiated. The pilot reported that he performed a preflight inspection, and cleaned the snow and ice off the top of the airplane. He reported that the airplane accelerated normally and he climbed to 500 feet. He reported that he saw some geese and he turned to avoid them, but he "did not recall if he hit them." He reported the airplane began to "fall from the sky," and he turned back to the runway, but the airplane started to stall. He landed the airplane in a field next to the runway. A witness, who arrived at the scene of the accident about 35 minutes after the accident, reported the airplane was located about 800 feet to the south of the runway. The witness reported, "There was lots of ice and snow on top of the wings, also the tail section." He reported the "elevators, ailerons, flaps were loaded with ice." He reported that he observed the airplane the next morning during daylight. He reported, "It was obvious that there was heavy ice on the topside of all surfaces of the aircraft and it was sticking solid." A second witness reported that he observed that the leading edges of the wings were clean, but there was a layer of "hard, icy stuff aft of the leading edges." The second witness reported that it had been snowing with freezing drizzle the last couple of days, but that there had been no freezing drizzle the night before he observed the airplane. An inspection of the airplane revealed no preexisting anomalies.

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

The pilot's inadequate removal of ice and snow during the airplane preflight, and the subsequent loss of control due to the airplane being covered with ice.

Full narrative available

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