LAX95LA115
LAX95LA115

On February 16, 1995, at 1505 Pacific standard time, a Skov- Papworth Q2 experimental home built airplane, N2103, collided with a runway sign at the Hollister Municipal Airport, Hollister, California, following a loss of control during a takeoff attempt. The aircraft was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the operation. The aircraft incurred substantial damage in the accident sequence; however, the private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the accident as a local area personal flight.

According to the airport manager, the aircraft was using runway 31 for the takeoff attempt. Witnesses observed the conventional gear aircraft experience directional control difficulties during the ground roll as it veered several times from the centerline. About 1,200 feet into the ground roll, the aircraft veered left and struck a runway sign. The pilot continued the takeoff and eventually became airborne. After a local area flight, the aircraft returned to the airport and ground looped during the landing. Examination of the aircraft revealed significant damage to the composite material aircraft fuselage skin.

The airport manager stated that on February 7 the pilot experienced similar ground directional control problems with the aircraft on three separate takeoff attempts. The aircraft ground looped off the runway on the first two attempts, followed by the pilot taxiing back to try a takeoff again. On the third attempt, the pilot veered left off the runway and entered a dirt median area as the pilot reduced the power. As the aircraft approached a drainage ditch, the pilot applied power and pulled the aircraft off the ground in a left, climbing turn. The aircraft narrowly missed colliding with a hangar on the airport.

In a verbal statement to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors, the pilot said he purchased the aircraft on February 6 and was attempting to become familiar with the control characteristics. The pilot said the aircraft has an extremely small rudder area and was "very squirrelly" on the ground.

Review of FAA airman and medical records revealed that the pilot's most recent medical certificate was issued January 17, 1995. The last medical certificate of record prior to that was issued on February 25, 1977. At the time of the 1977 medical examination, the pilot reported a total time of 150 hours.

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