Accident Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP N863AU, Sunday 24 March 2024
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Date:Sunday 24 March 2024
Type:Silhouette image of generic C172 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cessna 172S Skyhawk SP
Owner/operator:Auburn University
Registration: N863AU
MSN: 172S12471
Year of manufacture:2020
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Auburn University Regional Airport (AUO/KAUO), Opelika, AL -   United States of America
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Auburn University Regional Airport, AL (AUO/KAOU)
Destination airport:Auburn University Regional Airport, AL (AUO/KAOU)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On March 24, 2024, about 1330 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N863AU, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Opelika, Alabama. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot reported that after she arrived at the flight school, she completed a preflight inspection of the airplane with no anomalies noted. She reported that during the engine run-up, there were no unusual indications, and that the magneto check was normal. She reported that during the takeoff roll the engine indications were “green” and that airspeed was increasing “slightly slower than normal.” Upon reaching a rotation speed of 55 kts the pilot rotated and began the initial climb. As the initial climb progressed, the pilot noticed the airspeed was not accelerating normally and the engine could only maintain about 1700-1750 rpm, despite full forward throttle and mixture settings. Subsequently, the pilot reduced pitch and flew towards an area to complete a forced off-airport landing. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest inverted during the forced landing.

Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector found that both wings and the fuselage were substantially damaged.

The airplane was retained for further examination.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Preliminary report
Download report: Preliminary report





Photo: Opelika Police Department

Revision history:

24-Mar-2024 19:37 ASN Added
24-Mar-2024 19:37 ASN Updated [Location, Narrative]
24-Mar-2024 19:39 ASN Updated [Operator, Total occupants, Location, Narrative]
25-Mar-2024 14:57 Anon. Updated [Phase]
27-Mar-2024 17:36 Anon. Updated [Location]
29-Mar-2024 10:39 Anon. Updated [Location]
11-Apr-2024 19:56 Captain Adam Updated [Time, Location, Phase, Nature, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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