June 15, Needles, Calif. / Cessna 172


At 12:30 PDT, a Cessna 172 crashed on takeoff from a county road 22 miles west of Needles. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries. Witnesses reported that the pilot landed the aircraft on Goffs Road and taxied near an automotive service station. The pilot told the service station attendant that he was en route to Bullhead City and was unsure if he had sufficient fuel aboard. He purchased five gallons of automotive gasoline in a container, carried it to the aircraft and poured it in the right wing tank. The pilot then taxied back up the road, turned around and initiated takeoff in a westerly direction. The left wing tip struck a sign post, the aircraft veered left, struck the top of the chain link fence and flipped inverted. A deputy estimated that winds were from the southwest at about 5 knots with frequent, abrupt gusts to about 20 knots and the temperature was 110 plus [Fahrenheit].


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