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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 172400
Last updated: 31 August 2021
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Date:20-DEC-2014
Time:12:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic T18 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Thorp T-18
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N25VP
MSN: 07
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:San Rafael Airport (CA35), San Rafael, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Nature:Private
Departure airport:San Rafael, CA (CA35)
Destination airport:Novato, CA (DVO)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot reported that prior to the flight in the experimental airplane, he unbolted and rebolted the pilot's seat from its middle position to the forward position. He did not check to see if the flight control stick movement would be restricted in this new configuration.

During the takeoff roll, the airplane would not rotate when he moved the flight control stick aft. Not realizing the seat prevented the flight control stick movement to the full aft position, the pilot adjusted the elevator trim and the airplane subsequently lifted off, however, it would not climb. The pilot then aborted the takeoff; however, the airplane did not have sufficient distance to stop. It departed the runway surface and traversed through a field, impacted trees, and came to rest inverted. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, rudder, and vertical stabilator. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot's delayed decision to abort the takeoff. Contributing to the accident are an inadequate modification to the seat position, and the pilot's failure to check flight controls for freedom and correct movement.

Sources:

NTSB

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report
Location


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
21-Dec-2014 02:46 Geno Added
22-Dec-2014 18:45 Geno Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Source, Narrative]
21-Dec-2016 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
19-Aug-2017 15:11 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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