NTSB Identification: LAX04CA175.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 02, 2004 in California City, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N88BM
Injuries: 4 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with terrain during the takeoff initial climb. Prior to departure, the certified flight instructor (CFI) noted calm wind conditions. During the initial climb, about 50 to 75 feet above ground level, the airplane began to descend, while rolling and yawing to the right. The CFI could not maintain control of the airplane, and it continued in a 300-foot-per-minute descent. The airplane impacted the ground and a fire erupted. After egressing the airplane, the CFI noticed a strong shift in winds into tailwind conditions. A few minutes later, he noted that the winds became light again, followed by periodic gusts and wind shifts. The CFI reported that the airplane had no mechanical failures or malfunctions during the flight. The CFI reported that the airplane's gross weight was about 2,341 pounds, and the published maximum gross weight is 2,350 pounds.

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

the certified flight instructor's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed, which resulted in a stall/mush condition and a collision with terrain. Factors in the accident were strong tailwind conditions and a sudden wind shift.

Full narrative available

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