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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CHI08LA040
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 14, 2007 in Waukegan, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Czech Aircraft Works Sport Cruiser, registration: N947DM
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 takeoff was being made on runway 23. Upon takeoff the airplane began drifting to the right. The pilot applied left aileron and rudder, and the airplane started "banking hard right." He then applied full throttle and full left aileron, but the right bank angle kept increasing. The pilot reported that he kept the nose of the airplane up by applying left rudder, but the airplane continued to lose altitude. The right wing then contacted the runway and the airplane came to rest after having completed a 360 degree turn. Prior to the flight the pilot was working on the airplane and had used a magnetic block to magnetize a screwdriver. When finished, he set the block on the copilot seat and forgot about it. Following the accident the magnetic block was found lodged between the control stick and its mounting. This resulted in restricted movement of the control stick. The local winds were reported as being variable from 240 degrees to 310 degrees with gusts to 21 knots. The pilot reported the windsock showed the winds were from 270 degrees when he initiated his takeoff.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to assure that all of his tools were accounted for prior to takeoff which resulted in the foreign object jamming the control stick and the pilot's inability to maintain control of the airplane. A factor associated with the accident was the strong, gusty crosswind condition.