The pilot arrived to a turf strip in Brodhead, Wisconsin, to attend a fly-in on the day of the accident.
During departure, he applied full aft yoke during the takeoff roll and lifted off with a nose high attitude. Soon after takeoff, the Mooney M20D banked left and descended into a cornfield, which damaged the firewall.
The pilot attributed his nose high attitude immediately after takeoff to an improper nose up trim setting, as he had not set the airplane’s elevator trim to the takeoff position in accordance with the before takeoff checklist.
Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of airplane control during initial climb due to an excessively nose-high attitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to properly set the elevator trim before takeoff in accordance with the Before Takeoff checklist.
NTSB Identification: CEN16CA383
This September 2016 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.