Cassutt Racer IIIM, G-BNJZ
A prospective purchaser had arranged for a pilot with previous experience on similar types to fly the tail wheeled aircraft and assess it for him. The weather conditions were “clear and bright” with light north-north westerly winds estimated at 3 or 4 kt. The owner briefed the pilot about the aircraft, emphasising that as the propeller was relatively coarse, the pilot should lift the tail promptly before accelerating to lift-off speed. There was some difficulty starting the engine, but once it was started the pilot taxied to the grass Runway 06 and began a takeoff. Witnesses stated that the grass was damp and that the tail wheel did not lift. The pilot perceived that the aircraft would not become airborne, and aborted the takeoff attempt; the aircraft came to rest in a hedge, sustaining damage. The pilot evacuated the aircraft without difficulty. Those involved subsequently commented that the accident may have arisen from the takeoff technique used, the length of the grass, or the engine not producing sufficient power.
Published 10 December 2014