NTSB Identification: ERA12CA325
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Monday, May 07, 2012 in Culebra, PR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: N24461
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

After doing an engine runup the pilot taxied onto the runway and started his takeoff roll. During the attempted takeoff, the pilot realized that the control wheel would not move aft when he tried to pull back on it. He saw that the flight control lock was still installed, so he attempted to remove it but was not successful. The airplane was approaching the airport perimeter fence, so the pilot aborted the takeoff. The airplane impacted the fence, crossed a road, and struck trees. Postaccident examination revealed substantial damage to the airplaneā€™s wings and fuselage. Checklist procedures for the airplane required that the control wheel lock for the airplane be removed during the preflight inspection, and that the flight controls be checked prior to takeoff to ensure free and correct operation before takeoff. However, during a postaccident interview, the pilot stated that he did not use the checklist.

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

The pilot's failure to remove the flight control lock before takeoff.

Full narrative available

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