NTSB Identification: ERA12LA016
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 05, 2011 in Norfolk, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 180J, registration: N180RN
Injuries: 1 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 stated that, as he started to taxi onto the runway, the airplane was difficult to turn. He thought that the tailwheel had not locked into position so he lined up on the center line of the runway and pulled forward to give the tailwheel time to lock into position. He then initiated the takeoff roll and lifted the tail as the airspeed increased. The airplane then pulled to the left, and the pilot applied right rudder, but the left main landing gear went off the left side of the runway. He immediately applied the brakes and reduced power to abort the takeoff; however, the airplane turned 90 degrees, struck a ditch, and the right main landing gear separated from the airplane. A postaccident examination of the brake system revealed no anomalies; however, the brakes could not be tested because the hydraulic system was breached. A nut was found separated from a right main landing gear attach bolt after the accident, but the investigation was unable to determine if the separated nut contributed to the airplane veering to the left during takeoff.

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

The pilot's inability to maintain directional control during takeoff for undetermined reasons. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff.

Full narrative available

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