The pilot was taking off for a local flight, with a friend as his passenger. After reaching flying speed, with the wheels just off the ground, he realised that he could not move the control stick back, as usual. As a result, the aircraft was not climbing away from the surface and the pilot aborted the takeoff. The aircraft landed back on the airstrip but bounced and pitched up, before appearing to stall and impact the ground in a nose-down attitude. It came to rest with its nose landing gear collapsed and damage to the propeller and lower fuselage panels. Neither occupant was injured.
The pilot examined the aircraft afterwards and all the controls worked normally. He concluded that there may have been a restriction in the cockpit, which prevented the control stick from moving rearwards normally. He noted that the passenger had been carrying a bulky camera or could have been obstructing the controls in some other way.
General Aviation Safety Sense Leaflet 02 – ‘Care of Passengers’, published by the CAA, gives details of information that passengers should be given before they fly. This includes the need to keep items secure and away from the controls, to prevent restrictions.
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