The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped Cessna 180 reported that, prior to takeoff from the airport in Arlington, Washington, he adjusted his seat.
During takeoff, his seat slid back and he was not able to reach the rudder pedals or throttle lever. The airplane accelerated, veered left, exited the runway to the left, ground looped, and hit a berm.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing. The pilot sustained minor injuries in the crash.
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 properly secure the seat before takeoff, which resulted in it sliding back during takeoff and rendering him unable to reach the rudder pedals and throttle lever, a subsequent runway excursion, ground loop, and impact with a berm.
This August 2019 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.