On February 15, 1997, at 0430 central standard time (cst), a Cessna 172, N61914, operated by the Civil Air Patrol, was substantially damaged when the airplane hit a snow bank and flipped over, during takeoff. The commercial rated pilot was uninjured in the accident. The airplane was departing from Oconto, Wisconsin, with an intended destination of Fort Wayne, Indiana. The pilot had filed a VFR flight plan, but had not yet activated the flight plan. VFR conditions existed at the time of the 14 CFR Part 91 flight.

The pilot of the airplane was interviewed by the investigator in charge on February 24, 1997, by telephone. The pilot reported that there were small finger snow drifts which were on the runway at the time of the accident. The pilot said these drifts were approximately one foot deep, and extend from the runway edge to approximately one half the distance to the runway centerline. The runway width is listed at 75 feet. The pilot said that during the takeoff roll, just before rotation, the right wheel of the airplane impacted with one of the drifts. The pilot reported that after the right wheel contacted the snow drift the airplane's nose veered to the right, and the nose wheel dug in. The pilot said after the nose wheel dug in the airplane flipped over on its back. The pilot reported that he had allowed the airplane to drift over to the right side of the runway, during the takeoff roll. When asked if there were any mechanical malfunctions with the airplane or engine the pilot said no.

The airplane and airport were examined by a representative of the Federal Aviation Administration, on February 18, 1997. No discrepancies were found with the airplane, and the runway edges were reported as clear of snow, on this day.

The airplane's upper skins, wing spars, and propeller were bent in the accident.

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