Final Report: Seat belt restricted controls

 - November 4, 2008, 6:18 AM

Morane-Saulnier MS-760/B, St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 9, 2008–The cause of the takeoff accident was restricted elevator movement caused by a seatbelt that was buckled around the copilot control stick, according to the NTSB. The pilot was unable to see the seat belt, and the Board cited his failure to check the flight controls before flight as an additional cause. Contributing factors were the wet grass encountered during the runway excursion, and the sign and light the airplane hit.

When the pilot started to take off, the nose lifted “abruptly.” He couldn’t move the control stick to lower the nose and ran off the runway. The left wing, including the leading-edge fuel tank and wing ribs, were damaged, but the pilot was not injured.