Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN20CA184

Lee's Summit, MO, USA

Aircraft #1


Rhoads, Larry E Sopwith Baby


The pilot departed on the airplane's initial test flight in a tailwheel-equipped biplane. At the speed when the tailwheel lifted from the runway, the airplane began an uncommanded left roll. The pilot attempted to arrest the roll moment but was unsuccessful. He aborted the takeoff but lost control of the airplane as it settled down in a crab. The airplane exited the side of the runway and resulted in the failure of the left landing gear, and subsequent nose over of the airplane. The lower left wing sustained substantial damage. The airplane builder conducted a post-accident examination and reported that the right wing had a different "angle-of-attack" then the other wings, due to a construction error. This difference likely resulted in the uncommanded left roll during takeoff. This rolling tendency was not detected during the previous four high-speed taxi tests..

Probable Cause and Findings

The airplane builder's improper installation of the lower right wing which resulted in an uncommanded left roll and the subsequent loss of control.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

Get all the details on your iPhone or iPad with:

Aviation Accidents App

In-Depth Access to Aviation Accident Reports