NTSB Identification: ANC11FA037
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 27, 2011 in Chugiak, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N4955A
Injuries: 5 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot and four passengers departed on a cross country flight; witnesses reported that the airplane took off in a very nose-high attitude. One witness stated that the airplane went off the left side of the runway before becoming airborne, and, once aloft, it headed toward a row of trees on the east side of the airport. The airplane climbed over the trees, turned to the south, and then quickly rolled right and descended to the ground. A postcrash fire consumed most the airplane. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot’s logbook noted about 4 hours in the accident airplane, and, according to his logbook entries, he had not flown since June 12, 2010, after receiving instruction in the airplane, thus he did not meet the FAA’s recent experience requirement for the required number of takeoff and landings to carry passengers.

The airplane’s estimated gross weight at the time of the accident was about 243 pounds over its approved maximum takeoff weight.

Given the witness accounts of the airplane swerving off the runway during the takeoff roll, and of its subsequent nose-high attitude and rapid roll prior to impact, it is likely that the pilot lost control during the takeoff roll and then applied excessive nose-up pitch to become airborne. Once airborne, he failed to attain sufficient airspeed to avoid an aerodynamic stall, and the airplane descended out of control to the ground.

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

The pilot's loss of control of the airplane during takeoff, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's lack of experience in make and model, his lack of currency in FAA required takeoffs and landings, and his excessive loading of the airplane.

Full narrative available

Index for May2011 | Index of months