NTSB Identification: WPR10LA376
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 31, 2010 in Rawlins, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 177, registration: N35296
Injuries: 2 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 pilot reported that, prior to initiating the takeoff roll, he did not lean the fuel mixture. The airplane initially accelerated slowly, which the pilot expected at the high density altitude airport. About 50 feet above the ground, the pilot observed the engine rpm decreased from 2,700 to 2,500 rpm; the airplane was also losing altitude. The pilot elected to reduce the power and land on the runway overrun area; during the landing, the airplane struck a rock with the left main landing gear, which resulted in substantial damage to the elevator. A postaccident examination revealed that the spark plugs were carbon fouled, indicating that the engine was operating too rich. During the first engine run-up, the engine ran rough. After the spark plugs were cleaned, the engine ran normally with no anomalies noted. The airplane’s takeoff checklist notes, MIXTURE -- LEAN for maximum power at airports above 3,000 feet in elevation. The elevation of the airport was 6,813 feet. The density altitude at the time of the accident was 8,895 feet.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, failure to properly use the takeoff checklist, and failure to lean the fuel mixture, which resulted in the airplane’s inability to attain sufficient airspeed due to the rich fuel mixture.

Full narrative available

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