The aircraft was heading approximately 050°M along the grass taxiway towards the runway, which was orientated 080°M. The pilot decided that, because the runway was only 500 m long and the surface was wet, he would move to the left of the taxiway to facilitate a “sweeping turn” onto the runway and a “rolling start”. He applied full power while on the taxiway but the nose of the aircraft turned to the left, the left wingtip struck a tree and the propeller struck the ground, stopping the engine.
The pilot reported that he was flying the 180 HP variant of the Robin DR400 for the first time, having flown the 160 HP variant for the previous six years. He commented that he was surprised by the greater rate at which the larger engine caused the aircraft to turn left when power was applied.