NTSB Identification: CHI05CA155.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 23, 2005 in Willis, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N6324E
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 trees following a loss of directional control during takeoff. The pilot reported that as he became airborne, the airplane drifted to the right. He stated he attempted to apply rudder to correct for the drift, but it felt as if the rudder was "locked." The pilot aborted the takeoff and landed back on the airstrip. The pilot stated that upon landing, the airplane veered to the left as if the left brake was locked. The airplane was traveling at an airspeed of 35 to 40 miles per hour when it contacted trees along the left side of the airstrip. The pilot reported that the brake was free and the rudder functioned normally when the airplane was removed from the trees. The pilot reported that he believes the front seat passenger, who had never flown in a small airplane, had his feet on the rudders during the takeoff. The front seat passenger stated his feet were flat on the floor during the flight and not on the rudder pedals. Examination of the rudder and brake systems failed to reveal any mechanical failure/malfunction that would have resulted in the loss of directional control.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain directional control of the airplane due to undetermined reasons. A factor associated with the accident were the trees that the airplane contacted during the aborted takeoff.

Full narrative available

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