LAX94LA224
LAX94LA224

On May 25, 1994, at 1345 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 152, N93069, veered off the runway during the takeoff ground run and collided with a ditch at the Los Banos, California, airport. The aircraft was operated by Tradewinds Aviation of San Jose, California, and was on a student solo cross-country instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and a VFR flight plan was filed for the operation. The aircraft incurred substantial damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight was originating as the return portion of a round robin solo cross country flight from San Jose to Los Banos.

In a telephone interview, the 37-hour student pilot reported that he was attempting to takeoff on runway 32 with about a 30-degree 15-knot left crosswind. The pilot said he lost directional control as the aircraft lifted off and it veered off the runway to the left. The pilot decided to abort the takeoff and landed on a taxiway parallel and adjacent to the runway. The aircraft continued to veer to the left, departed the pavement, and went into a weed covered field. Before the pilot could stop the aircraft, it encountered a ditch.

The student's flight instructor was interviewed and he reported that he landed at the Los Banos airport with another student on a dual cross-country about 1 hour before the accident. The flight instructor said the winds at the time were from the west- northwest gusting to 20 knots. He and the second student departed about 10 minutes prior to the accident, and the winds were from the west-northwest at 15 knots gusting to 17. The flight instructor stated that the student pilot who had the accident had experienced and handled similar wind conditions on prior dual instructional periods without difficulty.

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