On 30th May 2000, a Cessna 177 lost control shortly after take-off from Calling Lake, Alberta, Canada, crashed and suffered a post crash fire.
The following synopsis is taken from the official TSB (Canada) accident report:
"The Cessna 177B Cardinal took off from runway 10 at the Calling Lake, Alberta, aerodrome on a day visual flight rules flight to Lloydminster, Alberta, with one pilot and one passenger on board. At the time of the departure there were visual meteorological conditions, with a gusting and variable cross-wind. After the aircraft became airborne, the stall warning horn activated, the left wing dropped abruptly, and the aircraft crashed into trees approximately 400 feet past the end of the runway. An intense, fuel-fed, post-crash fire ensued, which destroyed the aircraft. The pilot sustained fatal injuries due to the fire, and the passenger sustained fractures and serious burns."
The report made the following findings regarding causes, contributing factors and risk:
- "The aircraft stalled after take-off at an altitude where recovery was not possible, and it crashed.
- It is probable that the pilot did not achieve the required best-angle-of-climb speed after lift-off and that the aircraft remained at low airspeed, on the back side of the power curve, until the stall occurred.
- It is highly probable that the pilot sustained non-life-threatening impact injuries; however, she succumbed to the thermal effects of the fuel-fed, post-crash fire.
- The aircraft was not fitted with a crashworthy fuel system design that might have prevented or reduced the intensity of the post-crash fire, nor is it required on new or existing aircraft models by existing regulation.
- There is no requirement for the clearways at a registered aerodrome to be maintained clear of vegetation; the original clearway zone at the departure end of runway 10 was overgrown with brush and trees up to approximately 30 feet in height."
For further information see the full TSB Aviation Investigation Report A00W0109.
NTSB Safety Alerts on General Aviation risks related to loss of control and stall