The pilot stated that he was taking off from Runway 26, a grass runway, at Popham Airfield, for a local flight. About 50 m into the ground roll the nosewheel lifted before the rotation speed of 45 kt had been achieved. The pilot eased the stick forward to lower the nose and the nose gear touched down firmly. It subsequently collapsed resulting in the propeller striking the ground and the engine stopping with the aircraft coming to a stop on the runway. The pilot was uninjured and removed the aircraft from the runway with assistance.
The pilot believed that due to his lack of experience on type he may have pushed the control column forward too much and too quickly. He also believed that an uneven part of the grass runway may have contributed to the nose gear failure.
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Published 6 December 2018