NTSB Identification: LAX07CA170
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 12, 2007 in Carson City, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna 172S, registration: N5023A
Injuries: 1 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 veered off the left side of the runway after landing and collided with a ditch. The operator reported that student had just been signed off for his first solo flight. He had received 15 hours of total dual instructional flight time. The student made a normal takeoff and landing. After another takeoff and flight around the pattern, the airplane landed, veered hard to the left off of the runway, and encountered a ditch. In a letter dated 12 August 2008, the student pilot said that the report submitted by the operator did not reflect his claim made at the time of the accident that there was "a failure in the right rudder" that was responsible for the loss of directional control. He wrote that after the airplane began veering to the left he "pushed [his] right foot on the rudder [but] the plane failed to respond [and] veered to the left and crashed into a ditch that was a few feet from the runway." The student also noted in his letter that the airplane "had experienced right rudder problems at least 5 days prior to the accident". He reported that on 8 May 2007 he was on a training flight with his instructor and they had to execute an emergency landing "due to the right rudder not responding in the air". He also claimed that earlier in that same week another student and instructor experienced problems with the right rudder, and that due to these two events, the operator's maintenance department checked the airplane to resolve the discrepancy report. A copy of a page from the airframe maintenance records dated 10 May 2007 states: "Checked rudder system and cable tensions per Cessna service manual no defects noted. Removed all floor panels and no obstructions noted."

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

The loss of directional control for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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