On May 5, 2006, at 1900 central daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N613SP, registered to Northwest Alabama Regional Airport Authority, and operated by an individual as a 14 CFR Part 91 instructional flight, went off the side of runway 36 during the takeoff roll at the Northwest Alabama Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The airplane received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local training flight. The student pilot reported no injuries. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the student pilot, he had "just completed the first of three takeoffs and landings during my solo flight from runway 36". He stated that "after his first takeoff and landing, which occurred without incident, I proceeded to taxi to runway 36 for my second takeoff and landing. I announced my intentions and taxied onto the runway centerline and applied full power. Just before the aircraft started to rotate off the ground, it made a abrupt hard turn to the left. I applied right rudder to try and straighten the aircraft and keep it on the runway but this had no effect. I then reduced power to an idle while trying to control the aircraft and steer it away from any obstacles. The aircraft struck one of the runway signs, which apparently slowed it down some and proceeded across at least one taxiway and finally coming to rest behind a row of hangers." Damage consisted of the left wing, left horizontal stabilizer, left elevator, left main gear, and the nose gear.

Examination of the airplane by an A&P mechanic revealed that the "nose wheel steering rods and shimmy dampener appeared to function correctly. The nose wheel steering is centered when the rudder pedals are centered." Examination of all three tires found them free to rotate and undamaged "with no flat spots. The brakes are functional and have no tendency to seize up." According to the mechanic, "upon raising the aircraft up to its normal ground attitude the nose strut returned to its proper position. All tire pressures appear to be nominal'" and "the nose wheel centering on nose strut extension operates correctly".

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