The student pilot indicated that this flight was his first in the unregistered trike, and he had no flight training in the Airborne X-Series, but had read the manuals.
After applying full power and reaching an airspeed of about 30 knots, he pushed forward on the control bar to initiate the liftoff. Shortly after liftoff, the trike turned right, “stalled,” and hit the ground in North Pole, Alaska, which resulted in substantial damage to the carriage keel and wing. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.
The pilot believed the trike was an ultralight aircraft. However, according to the trike’s operating manual, the aircraft specifications exceeded the maximum takeoff weight, fuel capacity, and seat limitations stated in 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 103 for ultralight aircraft. It is likely that, given the pilot’s general lack of experience and training in the airplane type, he lost control during takeoff.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s decision to fly the weight-shift-controlled airplane with no training in the airplane type, which resulted in a loss of control and impact with terrain shortly after takeoff.
This October 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.