July 4, 2012, Greers Ferry, Ark., Cessna 172K Skyhawk


The airplane had reached approximately 80 feet agl on takeoff when it encountered an “air pocket.” The airplane descended; its left wing contacted 20-foot-tall trees. The airplane descended to the ground, coming to rest alongside a building. The left wing was substantially damaged. The density altitude was calculated to be 3790 feet. The pilot recommended that taking off with a cooler temperature and less weight in the airplane could have prevented the accident. The pilot did not recognize and compensate for the high density altitude existing at the time of takeoff.


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