Date & Time:
Oct 14, 2021 at 1600 LT
On October 14, 2021 at 1600 Pacific daylight time, a WSK Mielec AN-2TD, N857PF, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Wilton, California. The pilot and one passenger sustained serious injuries and the other two passengers sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The pilot stated that he configured the airplane for takeoff and had flaps down and the elevator trim was neutral. The departure started normally and after becoming airborne, the airplane controls were not responding to his inputs as expected. The airplane continued to pitch up in a nose-high attitude and he was unable to push the control yoke forward which he described as feeling like he was “stretching” cables with forward pressure. The pilot set the electric trim to full nose-down and it made no effect. With the airplane’s pitch uncontrollable, he saw an open area and elected to make a rapid maneuver toward the area. He added full left rudder and aileron and the airplane banked left. The airplane descended into trees and after coming to a stop, a fire erupted. The back door would not open due the deformation of the airframe and the broke a front window. The pilot and passengers all climbed out the window and the airplane continued to burn. There were two witnesses located at the airport that took videos of the airplane departing. One video showed the airplane just prior to the takeoff roll. The tailwheel is positioned backward and as the airplane starts the roll, the tailwheel swivel and the airplane moves to the right of the runway. The airplane then veered to the left of the runway and became airborne shortly thereafter. In the approximate 10 seconds that followed, the airplane pitched up at an increasingly higher and higher angle-of-attack. The airplane then made a sharp left turn and goes behind the tress as it descends.