May 7, 2005, Grand Canyon, Ariz. / Cessna 172RG


At 1637 Mountain time, the airplane settled back to the ground after takeoff in a field about one mile south of the Grand Canyon National Park Airport. The Private pilot and two passengers sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight was originating at the time of the accident. According to witnesses, the airplane departed Runway 21 but when the main gear lifted from the runways surface, the airplane flew in ground effect and did not climb. It proceeded down the runway before settling into the ground. The pilot reported that prior to the flight he performed performance calculations for the airplane to ensure that it was capable of departing the high-altitude (6609 feet msl) airport. Prior to takeoff, the flaps were retracted and the mixture control was in the full forward (rich) position. Fueling records at the Grand Canyon Airport indicated that the airplane was topped off with fuel prior to departure.


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