Aerotechnik EV-97 Eurostar, G-NIDG
The engine suffered a loss of power at a height of approximately 10 ft after the pilot inadvertently attempted to take off with the fuel selector in the OFF position. He landed ahead but was unable to stop the aircraft from overrunning the strip, passing through an electric fence and striking obstacles some 30 meters further on.
The pilot attributes the oversight to being in a hurry and allowing himself to come under unnecessary pressure. The cold and humid weather had caused problems of persistent canopy misting, requiring the use of a fan heater to achieve clear vision, and difficulty in engine starting, requiring use of the choke. The use of the latter culminated in the mixture becoming excessively rich, so he started the engine by selecting the fuel off (to give a leaner mixture) and then turning the fuel on again. He then taxied to the threshold, whereupon the canopy misted up again, forcing him to return to the hangar to repeat the process. He was eventually able to clear the canopy misting and proceed with the takeoff. However, he had forgotten to select the fuel on again after starting the engine and it cut out during the takeoff.
Aerotechnik EV-97 Eurostar, G-NIDG 10-11.pdf (240.74 kb)
Date of occurrence: 8 February 2011