NTSB Identification: SEA97LA068.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 24, 1997 in ARLINGTON, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/10/1998
Aircraft: Hemingway VARIEZE, registration: N36P
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot, who reported approximately 132 hours of flight experience of which one and three-quarters hour were in this make/model aircraft, intended to conduct high speed taxi tests of the aircraft, and then transition directly to a flight test. During the first taxi test run down the runway the pilot rotated and 'the aircraft lifted off rapidly and steeply.' The pilot reported that he was able to successfully re-land but felt that he had 'over-controlled' the aircraft.' After returning to the threshold of runway 34 he initiated a second taxi run down the runway and reported that 'just before I planned to shut down the engine it (the aircraft) lifted off just as abruptly as the first time at a very steep attitude, also higher than before, about 20 feet.' During the attempted recovery the aircraft struck the runway nose down and left wing low and slid to a stop. An observer to the accident located near an adjacent taxiway reported a wind gust coincident with the time of the second nose rotation. Winds at the Arlington airport were reported as 300 degrees magnetic at 10 knots at 1253 hours.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft. Factors contributing to the accident were the pilot's lack of total experience in the type of aircraft and the gusty wind conditions.

Full narrative available

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