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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR10CA230
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 03, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 172S, registration: N796SP
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The certified flight instructor (CFI) reported that the student pilot, who was seated in the left seat, was performing a short field takeoff. The CFI said that during the takeoff, the airplane yawed left dramatically and became airborne in a nose-high attitude. The CFI reported that she took control and "pushed" forward on the yoke and regained control of the airplane; however, in the process, the airplane collided with an anemometer pole. The CFI reported that she was able to continue the flight, entered a non-standard pattern for the runway and landed without further incident. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer; damage was also noted to the right wing. No pre accident mechanical deficiencies or anomalies with the airplane were reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot's failure to maintain directional control and the certified flight instructor’s delayed response to the student pilot's loss of control during the takeoff roll.