The pilot was practicing night takeoffs and landings in a Cessna 182 near Burlington, N.C. He completed two takeoffs and landings without incident.
During the third takeoff, as the plane was climbing to between about 10 and 20 feet above ground level, it stopped climbing, and the pilot felt increased resistance on the elevator control.
The plane did not respond to elevator control inputs, and it subsequently pitched nose down and descended. It touched down before departing the left side of the runway.
The nose gear collapsed, and the plane sustained substantial damage to the firewall and nose section.
The pilot reported that the plane had a recent history of elevator trim issues, which included difficulty controlling the elevator. The elevator trim jackscrew had been removed, inspected, and reinstalled about a week before the accident, and the airplane had since been operated about seven hours.
Examination of the airplane, including the elevator control system, did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation.
However, impact damage precluded the ability to conduct a complete functional check of the elevator control system.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as a loss of control during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined due to the post-accident condition of the elevator control system.
NTSB Identification: ERA14LA072
This December 2013 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.