On February 3 2010, at 13:48 central standard time, a Cessna 172P, N97075, sustained substantial damage when it collided with a snow bank during a takeoff attempt at McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport (MKL) Jackson, Tennessee. The certificated student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the instructional flight. The airplane was registered to and operated by the Civil Air Patrol under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The flight originated at Savannah-Hardin County Airport (SNH), Savannah, Tennessee, at 12:45. According to the student pilot, she landed on runway 2 at MKL, taxied back and took off with closed traffic. She landed again on runway 2, with the winds being from 320-degrees at 3 knots. She stated that during the accident takeoff with full power, the airplane veered to the left. She added more right rudder to compensate for the left drift, but felt a jerk, and the airplane continued to turn left. The airplane impacted a snow bank on the left side of the runway, at which time the nose landing gear collapsed and the propeller made contact with the runway surface.
Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector confirmed that the airplane had impacted a snow bank off the left side of the runway, collapsing the nose landing gear and damaging the firewall. Further examination of the nose gear found the right “bearing-rod end” broken off the “arm assembly-nose gear steering rod.” The bearing-rod end and the arm assembly were sent to the NTSB’s Materials Laboratory for further examination. The examination of the bearing-rod end and the arm assembly-nose gear steering rod through magnified optical inspections revealed deformation and fracture surface features consistent with bending over-stress separations in both components.
No indications of pre-existing conditions, such as fatigue or corrosion, were noted.
The student pilot landed, taxied back to the runway, and departed again. She stayed in the traffic pattern and then landed again with a slight crosswind at about 3 knots. During the subsequent takeoff with full power, the airplane veered to the left. The student pilot applied right rudder, but the airplane continued to the left and veered into a snow bank.
A post-accident examination of the airplane’s nose landing gear revealed that the right bearing rod-end had broken off the arm assembly of the nose gear steering rod. Further examination of both components through magnified optics revealed deformation and fracture surface features consistent with bending over-stress separations in both components. No indications of preexisting conditions, such as fatigue or corrosion, were found.
The student pilot’s loss of directional control during the takeoff roll, which resulted in a collision with a snow bank.