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Thread: Spitfire takeoff accident, non fatal

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Spitfire takeoff accident, non fatal

    This past weekend there was a takeoff accident at a French airstrip..The good news is the pilot survived, was taken to the hospital, dont know about injuries.
    The plane, a late model Mark XIX, is shown running on the parking area next to the taxiway, while waiting for several light planes to land, including a gyrocopter. The engine sounds great, steady and strong. When clear the pilot taxis out onto the beautiful grass runway and back to the end. After a brief runup, he adds power and begins takeoff roll. Within seconds, the tail is coming up too high, the nose getting too low and the props dig into the ground and the whole plane goes tail over nose and ends up on its back. It coulnt have rolled more than about 50 yards, just a few seconds for it to go wrong.
    It looks like there is little clearanc under the fuselage for the pilot so some awful moments, but eventually dozens of people run out of the crowd, lift the tail up and the pilot is dragged out alive, but not walking around.
    I have seen several videos and it is not real clear where the elevator was on takeoff roll, whether the pilot just used too abrupt power or if he pushed forward stick or what, it happend so fast. I guess it is possible tho unlikely that he had the parking brake on for runup and forgot to release it before adding power, thus locking the wheels. It looks like he had correct rudder, that is left rudder with a Griffon at the start and the nose did go left but that was when the prop had already hit. Lots of damage to a great plane.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 06-13-2017 at 10:21 AM.

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