The pilot reported that, during a return flight, he chose to fly from the Cessna 207’s right pilot seat to allow a cargo handler to sit in the left pilot seat. The taxi to the runway at the airport in Newtok, Alaska, was short and required little rudder input.
However, during takeoff, as he added power, he “did not seem” to have full right rudder authority, and he was unable to maintain the runway centerline.
Subsequently, the airplane left the left side of the runway, hit a small ridge, and came to rest nose down.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and left wing.
The pilot reported that, after the accident, he realized the plane had stowable rudder pedals on the right side and that they had been placed in the “stowed” position.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to properly check that the flight controls were correctly configured before takeoff.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA154
This February 2018 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.