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Summary

Summary

The aircraft had been parked in the open overnight. When the pilot arrived at the strip he noted that shallow fog had settled over the area. The temperature was below freezing point and frost covered the aircraft, except for the windscreen which had been protected by a cloth sheet. A pre-flight inspection was carried out, but did not include the removal of the frost from the aircraft. Because the fog had reduced visibility to about 50 metres, the pilot taxied the aircraft along the strip to check for obstructions. During this time the moisture froze on the windscreen, however by reaching from the cockpit the pilot was able to clear the left side of the screen. Shortly afterwards the take-off was commenced and the lightly loaded aircraft became airborne after a ground run of about 250 metres. At this point all forward visibility was lost because of frost re-forming on the windscreen. The pilot noticed that the aircraft appeared to be banking to the left and he elected to land immediately. The left wingtip contacted the ground, followed by the main wheels. The aircraft ran off the side of the strip and collided with a fence, before coming to rest about 100 metres from the strip. The pilot had had no disciplined instrument flying experience and had been unable to maintain effective control of the aircraft during the take-off with severely restricted visibility. The degradation in aircraft performance as a result of the frost covering the wings and tail surfaces could not be established.

 
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