Poor takeoff technique crunches Kitfox

Aircraft: Kitfox IV. Injuries: None. Location: Homedale, Idaho. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: Approximately 15 minutes into the flight, the oil pressure gauge dropped to zero. The pilot performed a precautionary landing on a snow-covered hill. He examined the airplane and discovered that the sending wire had disconnected from the oil pressure gauge. He re-attached the wire and the oil pressure gauge resumed normal function.

The pilot attempted to take off in what he estimated was 4 inches of snow on the ground. He did not use the soft-field takeoff technique. During the takeoff roll, the airplane nosed over.

Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate compensation for the snow-covered terrain during the takeoff ground roll, which resulted in a nose-over.

NTSB Identification: WPR11CA088

This January 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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