This December 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: Cessna 210. Injuries: None. Location: Sheridan, Wyo. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: During the preflight inspection the pilot noticed a small amount of hydraulic fluid pooled by the trim wheel. In order to troubleshoot the problem, maintenance personnel removed the left front pilot’s seat, did the repairs, then reinstalled the seat. The pilot started the airplane and taxied for takeoff. When he applied full power to began the takeoff roll, his seat abruptly slid to the full back position, resulting in the airplane veering sharply to the left as his feet left the rudder pedals.
In order to avoid taxi signs on the left side of the runway, the pilot rotated the aircraft. He heard something hit the airplane. Airborne, the pilot managed to get the seat forward, climb to pattern altitude, and land uneventfully.
After securing the airplane the pilot noticed that the left front seat had not been reinstalled in the seat rail, but was resting on top of it. Damage to the airplane consisted of a propeller strike, a hole in the undercarriage, and damage to both horizontal stabilizers.
Probable cause: Maintenance personnel’s failure to reinstall the left front pilot’s seat correctly, which resulted in the pilot’s loss of control and subsequent impact with a taxiway sign.
For more information: NTSB.gov