Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary WPR13LA364

Burlington, WA, USA

Aircraft #1

N67045

COMMONWEALTH 185

Analysis

The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane was landing in a 6-knot, 40-degree crosswind at the conclusion of a local flight. The pilot stated that, during the landing roll, a wind gust picked up the left wing, which lifted the left main wheel off the ground. The left main wheel then touched down hard, and the airplane swerved aggressively to the left. The airplane departed the asphalt surface and nosed over when it contacted the adjacent grass. During postaccident repair of the airplane, a mechanic reported that an interior footwell panel had dislodged and caught on the left rudder bar, inhibiting movement of the pedals. If the panel had been dislodged before the flight, it should have been observed both during a preflight inspection and during the flight. As the pilot did not report any resistance in the pedals before the landing, it is likely that the panel became dislodged as a result of the hard landing, which prevented the pilot from regaining directional control.

Factual Information

On August 8, 2013, about 1300 Pacific daylight time, a Commonwealth 185 Skyranger, N67045, nosed over during landing at Skagit Airport, Burlington, Washington. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage to the tail and wings. The local personal flight departed Burlington about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.The pilot reported that he made a three-point landing on runway 29. During the landing roll, a wind gust picked up the left wing, which lifted the left main wheel off the ground. The left main wheel then touched down hard, and the airplane swerved aggressively to the left. The airplane departed the asphalt surface, and nosed over when it contacted the adjacent grass. Photos provided by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector indicated that there was only one skid mark on the runway from the right wheel that led into the grass on the left side of the runway. The left wheel mark first appeared in the grass, and continued to the overturned airplane. During repair of the airplane, a mechanic reported that the left hand interior Naugahyde covering was glued to a panel. One rudder bar caught on it bending it 90 degrees, and jamming the left rudder at 3/4 deflection. The mechanic stated that the panel would not need to be removed during an annual inspection. However, he said that it was significant enough that a mechanic would notice the discrepancy during the inspection, and a pilot would notice it on a preflight. He also indicated that it would have interfered with the controls during flight. A weather report for the time of the accident indicated that the wind was from 240 degrees at 6 knots. The pilot reported a total time of 98 hours with 7 in make/model.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilots inadequate control inputs during a crosswind landing, which resulted in a hard landing and loss of directional control.

 

Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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