NTSB Identification: ERA12LA445
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, July 09, 2012 in Allentown, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N680MA
Injuries: 2 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.

While the student pilot was conducting touch-and-go landings, about the time of power application after landing, the airplane veered left and departed the runway onto the adjacent grass. The airplane subsequently struck a sign, impacted a gopher hole, and came to rest near a berm, sustaining substantial damage to the airframe and horizontal stabilizer. Three distinct tire tracks were visible in the grass up to the gopher hole. A postaccident examination of the left main landing gear assembly revealed overstress fractures from a single loading event, which was likely the impact with the gopher hole; no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation were found. FAA guidance indicates that an abrupt application of power may result in the airplane yawing sharply to the left. It is likely that at the application of takeoff power, the student pilot failed to apply an appropriate amount of rudder correction and the airplane departed the runway. The flight instructor did not recognize the student’s failure to maintain directional control in a timely manner and failed to take appropriate remedial.

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

The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during a touch-and-go takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion and a subsequent impact with a gopher hole, and the flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the student pilot and his delayed remedial action.

Full narrative available

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