FTW95LA079
FTW95LA079

On January 1, 1995, at 0735 mountain standard time, a Cessna 177B, N30898, was substantially damaged during takeoff near Torreon, New Mexico. The private pilot and his passanger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross country flight.

The enclosed Pilot/Operator report stated the following information. The pilot had been awake for "over 24 hours." The weather was good for flying, but very cold. "The dirt runway was frozen rock hard." The pilot performed a soft field takeoff in an attempt to protect his nose gear from the rough frozen dirt runway. This was done by using flaps and by rotating the front landing gear off the ground as soon as possible on the takeoff roll. The aircraft lifted into the air and the pilot continued maintaining the aircraft in this attitude above ground effect without allowing the aircraft to accelerate to flying speed. At this same monent, the pilot raised his flaps. With flaps retracting "lift was lost," and the airplane subsequently stalled, impacting the ground.

The pilot reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge, that after the accident, he examined the upper wing surface much more closely. He discovered that there was a thin "uniform pockmark matrix" of frost over most of the wing.

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