NTSB Identification: WPR10LA417
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 22, 2010 in Mammoth Lakes, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/17/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172E, registration: N7807U
Injuries: 4 Serious.

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, shortly after takeoff, the airplane encountered turbulence and a downdraft and began to rapidly lose altitude. The pilot was unable to maintain control, and the airplane subsequently collided with the terrain in a nose-low attitude. According to the front-seat passenger, the takeoff roll was long, and the airplane gradually climbed with the stall warning indicator buzzing. He stated that the airplane encountered an updraft followed by a downdraft, the pilot initiated a turn to the left, and the airplane subsequently stalled. The calculated density altitude at the airport at the time of the accident was about 8,900 feet. A postaccident examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and airplane control during takeoff in high density altitude conditions, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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