On January 21, 2000, at 1505 hours Pacific standard time, an experimental Myers Q-2, N813S, descended and veered to the left of the runway during the takeoff initial climb at the Compton, California, airport. The airplane subsequently collided with two cars before coming to rest between two rows of hangars. The airplane, operated by the owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, was substantially damaged. The pilot, who holds a United States student pilot certificate and a Canadian commercial certificate, sustained minor injuries. No ground personnel were injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that was originating at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, California. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In the pilot's written statement to the Safety Board, he stated rotation speed is approximately 80-85 mph, and a "definite" amount of backpressure is required on the controls to rotate for takeoff. He further stated that the stall speed is 68 mph.
The run-up was conducted with no discrepancies noted. The pilot noted the winds were variable at 5-10 knots and appeared to be a "little gusty." He made a radio call on Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) that he was going to takeoff on runway 25L. At 70 mph, the airplane lifted off without manual input from the control stick. The pilot believed that the airplane was caught by a wind gust. As he attempted to settle the airplane to the ground and avoid a stall he noted that he was left of centerline. The left wing contacted the runway and turned the airplane approximately 20 degrees from the runway heading towards the taxiway. He reduced power and applied the brakes, which increased the direction of travel to the left.
The pilot stated that a vehicle was heading towards him on the taxiway. He realized that he would not be able to maneuver the airplane on the taxiway as he had originally planned. When he looked forward, he saw a truck in his direction of travel. He stated that the airplane was level with the front of the truck. While attempting to maneuver around the parked truck and not place the airplane back into the path of the on-coming vehicle, the left canard struck the truck and was sheared off. The pilot stated that at that point he had "little or no control" of the airplane, it slid into a parked car, and came to rest near a hangar. He pulled out the mixture, shut the airplane down, and exited the airplane on his own.
A witness to the accident reported no discrepancies with the sound of the engine. He stated that the airplane appeared to accelerate normally at his estimation of 80 mph. About 1/3 of the way down the runway, he observed the airplane either liftoff, or hop up about 5 feet in the air, then "fall off" on to its left wing and slide between hangar rows after it collided with the Compton Police Department tow truck.
The airplane was inspected on scene by Safety Board investigators the day of the accident. Skid marks were found on the runway in between the runway and taxiway, as well as the taxiway in the airplane's direction of travel. White paint transfer from the airplane was observed on the truck's wheel well, as well as 2 feet from the aft of the truck's flatbed that ends where the airplane came to rest. Control continuity from the right canard to the cockpit and from the rudder to the cockpit was established. The left and right tires from the main landing gear were manually rotated to make sure they rotated freely and no discrepancies were noted. Both tires were inspected and found to have some rubbing present; however, there were no bald spots or scuffmarks observed. The brakes for both tires were manually activated and found to function with no anomalies. It was noted that the each brake contains its own master cylinder and when activated brake fluid was observed to flow through the lines.