The commercial pilot was conducting a personal flight in a Quest Kodiak 100 near Sheridan, Wyoming.
Two witnesses saw the airplane lift off in an extreme nose-high attitude, level off, and then re-enter a nose-high attitude before it descended and hit the ground 1,500 feet south of the runway. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
After the accident, the pilot told the airport manager that the flight controls had jammed during takeoff.
The airport manager reported he examined the airplane and that all of the flight controls moved freely.
During subsequent examination, flight control continuity from the cockpit controls to all of the flight control surfaces was confirmed, and all of the flight controls moved freely. The floorboards were removed to check for debris, but none was found.
The pilot reported that the last flight in the airplane was flown by another pilot who had mentioned to him that someone in the service center had given him a red foam block with a streamer, which he had placed between the elevator and the horizontal stabilizer as instructed.
The accident pilot did not see the foam block or feel it during the control checks, which were normal. The recovery crew, airport manager, and insurance adjuster reported that they did not find a red foam block with a streamer.
Probable cause: The loss of airplane control during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined based on the available information.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA019
This October 2015 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.