NTSB Identification: ERA12CA320
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 05, 2012 in Cambridge, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/15/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172F, registration: N5551R
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot completed one takeoff and landing to a full stop on the 2,100-foot-long turf runway to observe the wind and "refresh" himself with the operation of the airplane. Two passengers then boarded the airplane for a local flight. The pilot taxied the airplane back to the runway and prepared to take off using a short-field takeoff technique. The airplane lifted off the runway after a takeoff roll of about 900 feet, and the pilot “crabbed” the airplane slightly right into the crosswind to track along the runway. About 30 feet above the runway, he leveled the airplane to “pick up speed” and tried to track the runway centerline. However, the airplane's nose landing gear impacted the ground and the airplane came to rest inverted, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage, both wings, and the empennage. Witnesses reported to the pilot that the airplane's tail lifted when the wind changed to a quartering tailwind during the takeoff, just before the nose landing gear impacted the ground.

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

The pilot’s loss of airplane control during a takeoff in variable crosswind conditions.

Full narrative available

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