The pilot applied full power to take off from asphalt Runway 03; the wind was northerly at about 8 to 9 kt. At approximately 45 kt, in accordance with the manufacturer’s flight manual, he began to raise the nose. However, the nose rose more abruptly than expected and he released the back pressure he was applying on the control stick. The nose then dropped and, at the same time, the aircraft adopted a left wing-down attitude and veered to the left. The aircraft, which had briefly become airborne, struck the ground and came to rest in the long grass adjacent to the runway. The pilot and passenger were able to vacate the aircraft without difficulty and were uninjured. The pilot considered that gusty wind conditions may have contributed to the loss of control.
Although it was not possible to determine whether it was a contributing factor to this accident, the AAIB is aware of a number of runway excursions to the left featuring this class of aircraft which have relatively high power-to-weight ratios; the tendency to swing to the left at high power is more pronounced at low airspeeds and an appropriate application of right rudder is required to control it.
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Published 12 January 2017