NTSB Identification: ERA12LA315
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 02, 2012 in Columbus, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/2013
Aircraft: BERRY DEAN GLASAIR I, registration: N540GZ
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 attempting to take off in an experimental tailwheel-equipped airplane. He stated that the airplane started to accelerate forward on the takeoff roll and pull to the left while he had right rudder applied. The engine hesitated, and he applied more right rudder and full right brake with no results. He aborted the takeoff and applied both brakes to slow the airplane. The airplane exited the left side of the runway and collided with a runway sign; the left main landing gear collapsed, which resulted in structural damage to the airframe. The pilot reported that he had 0.1 hour in the accident airplane make and model. Examination of the wreckage, including the brakes, did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. The engine was subsequently test run at full throttle and no anomalies were noted. The airplane owner’s manual indicated that for takeoff, the flaps should be set at 20 degrees and that power should be added slowly to allow airspeed to build and the controls to become effective by the time full power is achieved. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the flaps were in the retracted position. The pilot’s lack of experience in the airplane make and model and unfamiliarity with its operating procedures contributed to his failure to use the recommended flap setting for takeoff.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion and collision with a runway sign. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience in the airplane make and model, resulting in and his failure to use the recommended flap setting for takeoff.

Full narrative available

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