Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary WPR23LA024

Evanston, WY, USA

Aircraft #1




The purpose of the flight was to ferry the tailwheel-equipped airplane for its new owner. The pilot initially told investigators that during the takeoff roll from a 2,300 ft asphalt runway, the skies were clear, and the wind was calm. He stated that he rotated at the 500 ft mark at an airspeed of 65 knots, and the airplane lifted off and climbed to about 50 ft agl. Shortly after, the airplane descended back onto the runway. He added that he did not hear an audible stall horn warning and that after the airplane touched down, the airplane veered off the runway. The airplane ground looped, resulting in substantial damage to the right-wing lift strut, right-wing aileron and the fuselage. The pilot’s initial statement was that the left brake failed (seized) as he saw left tire skid marks on the runway. However, he later told a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that his original statement was incorrect, and the airplane never left the ground and there must have been a brake seizure or dragging of the right brake that he overcompensated for with left rudder, resulting in the runway departure. The pilot did not respond to attempts by the NTSB investigator-in-charge to clarify the differences in his statements. Postaccident examination of the left main landing gear brake and both main gear wheel bearings revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, resulting in a runway excursion and ground loop


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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