AAIB investigation to Vans RV-6A, G-TOGO
Aircraft hit obstruction on takeoff, Andrewsfield Airfield, Essex, 8 May 2016
The pilot reported that the aircraft had just commenced its takeoff from the grass Runway 09 Right when it encountered an unseen obstruction. The nose of the aircraft pitched down and then up as the aircraft passed the obstruction. The aircraft was accelerating and handling normally, so the pilot elected to continue the takeoff. After landing, the nose landing gear fairings were found to be damaged, with grass and earth lodged in the torn fibreglass structures. Further examination showed the nose gear leg had been bent. The pilot thought that the aircraft may have encountered a shallow gulley or rabbit hole.
The aerodrome authority reported that a full runway inspection had been carried out after the pilot reported the incident, but that no surface irregularities had been found. Several other aircraft had used the area in question, both before and after G-TOGO had taken off, and no other adverse reports had been received.
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Published: 11 August 2016
Date of occurrence: 8 May 2016