On July 18, 1999, approximately 1545 mountain daylight time, a Rader Long EZ, N6577C, owned and operated by the pilot, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while taking off at Buena Vista, Colorado. The private pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's accident report, this was to be his first solo flight in the airplane, and he intended to practice takeoffs and landings. He began his takeoff roll on runway 33. When the airplane reached 60 knots, it "suddenly and unexpectedly" became airborne (rotation speed was said to be 70 to 75 knots). The airplane dropped back onto the runway, bounced, and became airborne again. The pilot said he then lost control of the airplane. It struck a dirt median and nosed over.

The paramedic who treated the pilot said the pilot told him he "overcontrolled" the takeoff. The airplane climbed about 10 feet, then landed hard and bounced once on the runway. It then touched down in soft dirt and nosed over.

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