This August 2008 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.
Aircraft: Zenair CH. Injuries: None. Location: Fincastle, Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot of the amateur-built Zenair CH 701SP was departing from a turf runway. Because it was a soft field, the pilot pulled the control stick back to reduce the weight on the nose wheel. The airplane became airborne prematurely. It did not have enough airspeed for the pilot to maintain directional control. It turned left, descended, and struck trees located off the left side of the runway.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadvertent premature rotation during takeoff.
For more information: NTSB.gov