AAIB investigation to Cessna F172H Skyhawk, G-AWGD
Loss of directional control on takeoff, at Keyston Airfield, on 15 April 2015.
The pilot had flown to Keyston Airfield, where he carried out a low approach and go-around to assess the condition of grass Runway 02/20, which is 724 metres long. He landed on Runway 02, which slopes upwards in the direction he was landing, without any problems. Upon departure, some two minutes later, he elected to take off on the reciprocal, Runway 20, as he wished to utilise the downslope to shorten the ground roll; the wind was from 270º and variable in strength.
However, during the takeoff roll, the pilot reports that the aircraft struck a ridge in the runway and became prematurely airborne. Despite holding into-wind aileron, the pilot was unable to prevent the left wing from striking a tall hedge, which spun the aircraft into the hedge and through about 180º before it came to rest. The pilot shut down the fuel and electrics and vacated the aircraft. He has cited an unexpected crosswind gust, combined with his unfamiliarity with the airfield, as factors in the accident.
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Published: 9 July 2015
Date of occurrence: 15 April 2014