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N523ND accident description

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Crash location 46.900556°N, 95.073056°W
Nearest city Park Rapids, MN
46.922181°N, 95.058632°W
1.6 miles away
Tail number N523ND
Accident date 12 Sep 2009
Aircraft type Cessna 172S
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 12, 2009, at 2230 central daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N523ND, operated by the University of North Dakota, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain during takeoff from runway 31 (5,498 feet by 100 feet, asphalt) at the Park Rapids Memorial Airport (PKD), Park Rapids, Minnesota. The pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 flight was departing PKD with Grand Forks International Airport (GFK), Grand Forks, North Dakota, as the final destination. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan was filed.

The private pilot reported he departed GFK at 1950 and flew to Baudette, Minnesota, and performed a stop and go landing. The pilot then departed Baudette and flew to PKD. The pilot did a go-around on the first attempted landing. On the second attempt he landed about mid-field and did a stop and go landing. He departed for GFK and initiated the takeoff using 10-degrees of flaps. The pilot reported that when he reached about 100 feet above ground level he retracted the flaps. He felt that the airspeed was a little low (70 knots IAS) so he pushed the nose over. He stated that he did not think he was in a descent, but the airplane hit the ground about 100 feet from the end of the runway.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the accident site and airplane. He reported that the examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane touched down about 100 feet from the end of the runway and went back into the air. When the airplane contacted the ground the second time, there were 8 ground scars in the grass which were consistent with propeller strikes. The airplane went airborne again, and the nose gear collapsed and both wings were damaged when it hit the ground the third time. The airplane came to rest about 150 feet from the end of the runway. The inspection of the airplane’s flight controls revealed no preexisting anomalies. The propeller blades exhibited leading edge nicks and gouges, chordwise scratching, and blade twist. The AmSafe seat belt airbag deployed on the pilot side.

The pilot and co-pilot AmSafe airbag restraint systems were sent to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for examination. The examination revealed that the pilot’s restraint system was intact and functional. Markings on the belt portion of the restraint were consistent with some load having been placed on the belt. The lap-belt-mounted airbag had clearly deployed; however, there was no evidence on the bag itself to suggest that significant loads had been applied to the bag during the crash.

The pilot was a 21-year-old private pilot with a single-engine land rating. He held a first class medical certificate that was issued on February 11, 2009. The pilot reported that he had 112 hours of flight time with 112 hours in make and model. He had flown 9 hours at night which included 2 hours of night experience when he was pilot-in-command.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain a proper climb rate during a night takeoff.

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