NTSB Identification: FTW98LA029.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 23, 1997 in FARMINGTON, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 185C, registration: N725
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 was on a cross-country flight after purchasing the aircraft the previous day. He said he had moderate experience in the aircraft, but lacked recent experience and had flown the aircraft 9 hours in the previous 90 days. The pilot said that during the takeoff roll, he put the yoke full forward, planning to return it to neutral when the tail lifted. He said that when the tail came up, he could not move the yoke aft to neutral, and the aircraft went nose down and nosed over. Examination of the aircraft following the accident revealed no discrepancies in the flight control system. According to the manufacturer, if the stabilizer trim is in the takeoff range, the aircraft is incapable of rotating to that degree of nose down attitude during the takeoff roll. Also, the manufacturer reported that if the trim is nose down, out of the takeoff range, the aircraft will nose down, and it is difficult to move the yoke aft. In addition, the manufacturer said the only other way to achieve this type of event is to use the brakes during the takeoff roll.

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

the pilot's improper preflight of the airplane, by failing to properly set the elevator trim for takeoff, and his improper use use of the elevator flight controls. A related factor was: the pilot's lack of recent experience in the make and model of airplane.

Full narrative available

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