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N650WP accident description

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Crash location 39.574723°N, 77.971389°W
Nearest city Hedgesville, WV
39.553430°N, 77.994999°W
1.9 miles away
Tail number N650WP
Accident date 17 Jul 2016
Aircraft type Hirn Associates Ltd Zodiac CH601XL
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot of the experimental amateur-built airplane reported that during the takeoff roll at approximately 35 knots, he realized that he forgot to turn on the airplane's anti-collision lights. He reached over to turn them on and his forearm brushed across the top of the control stick and activated the electric trim to a full nose up position. The airplane suddenly climbed off the runway in a steep nose high attitude to an altitude of about 60 ft before it started a roll to the left towards trees. As the airplane rolled left, the pilot attempted to compensate with right rudder and aileron input, but it had little effect on directional control, so he elected to turn back to the left and try to climb over the trees. The airplane impacted the top of the tree canopy then descended through the trees and impacted the ground. The wings and fuselage were substantially damaged. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s inadvertent activation of the elevator trim, which resulted in a premature takeoff and subsequent loss of airplane control and collision with trees.

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