November 16, 2012, Rockland, Maine Cessna 172N Skyhawk


 The airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted a non-airport vehicle and then terrain during takeoff. Visual conditions prevailed. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured; the vehicle occupant was not injured.

After announcing his intentions on CTAF using a radio in his vehicle, the driver crossed the runway. He saw something grayish in color and got out to inspect it, at which time he observed an airplane attempting to climb. The airplane drifted to the left of the runway and made a left turn as if attempting to return to the airport. According to a witness, the airplane was observed performing a left climbing “chandelle”-type maneuver at a high angle of attack. At about 200 feet agl, the airplane’s navigation lights were observed rotating slowly counter-clockwise. The airplane then appeared to pitch down and descended behind trees. The airplane’s right elevator was located in the vicinity of the initial impact with the vehicle on the runway.


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