NTSB Identification: WPR12LA189
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 28, 2012 in Beckwourth, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172D, registration: N2559U
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 was departing from a 2,300-foot-long dirt airstrip. The pilot reported that, based on his pretakeoff calculations, he configured the airplane with 10 degrees of flaps for a soft-field takeoff and that, due to the soft terrain, the airplane required a longer-than-normal takeoff distance. Shortly after rotation, the pilot initiated a gradual left turn. According to a witness, when the airplane was about 100 feet above the ground, it rolled farther left, to about a 90-degree bank. Unable to climb or maintain altitude, the pilot leveled the wings and pitched the nose down in an attempt to regain airspeed; however, he realized there was insufficient altitude, and he landed the airplane in a field. During the landing roll, the airplane nosed over. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane 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 sufficient airspeed during initial climb, which resulted in a loss of airplane control.

Full narrative available

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