On July 6, 1993, at 1210 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N3090E, collided with trees during an off airport landing at Truckee, California. The aircraft failed to climb during the takeoff portion of a touch and go operation on runway 28 and the flight instructor on board landed the aircraft in a clear area beyond the departure end of the runway. The aircraft collided with trees during the ground roll. The aircraft was operated by C & J of Nevada, Inc., Reno, Nevada, and was on a local area dual instructional flight at the time. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and included calm winds. The aircraft incurred substantial damage; however, neither the certificated commercial pilot flight instructor nor his dual primary student were injured. The flight originated at the Reno, Nevada, airport on the day of the mishap at 1130 hours with the intention of performing touch and go pattern practice operations at the Truckee airport.

According to verbal and written statements from the flight instructor, the student performed a touch and go on runway 28. During the climb out, the instructor observed that the engine power output seemed low, with the RPM indicating only about 2,000 and decreasing. The instructor stated that the engine operation was smooth, with no apparent roughness. The instructor also said he noted that the aircraft would not clear the trees off the end of the runway and there was insufficient pavement left to affect a landing. The instructor stated that he took over the controls and landed the aircraft in a clear area beyond the runway and subsequently collided with trees and rough terrain during the landing roll out.

Both the instructor and the student provided consistent statements detailing the configuration of the aircraft during the attempted takeoff. The pilots noted that the carburetor heat was in the off position and the mixture was leaned to best power for the density altitude. The flaps were fully retracted. The pilots reported that the aircraft lifted off at about 60 knots and the airspeed increased to about 65 knots; however it would not accelerate beyond that point.

The airframe and engine were examined in detail by an FAA airworthiness inspector. During the engine testing and subsequent disassembly, no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions were noted. The inspector's report of the examination is attached to this report.

The flight manual performance charts for the Cessna 172N were reviewed. At the temperature and pressure altitude existing at the time of the operation, the charts detail that the aircraft should have had a climb capability of about 440 feet per minute.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page