NTSB Identification: SEA96LA107.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 01, 1996 in PASCO, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/03/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-20, registration: N1645A
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot, who was flying solo at the time of the accident, reported that during the landing roll, the aircraft's left wing dropped and that he was unable to counter this wing drop with aileron. He stated that the tailwheel-equipped aircraft began a 'sweeping [right-hand] turn' at this point. He indicated on a sketch of the accident sequence that a 'L.H. tire skid mark' began at the point where the uncontrollable wing drop occurred, curving to the right until its termination point on the runway pavement, where he stated he believed the gear collapsed. The aircraft came to rest on the right shoulder of the runway. FAA Advisory Circular 61-21A, Flight Training Handbook, states that pilots of tailwheel aircraft must be especially vigilant for directional control problems during the after-landing roll since the aircraft's center of gravity is behind the main wheels, and notes that ailerons and rudder become less effective as the airplane slows during the landing roll. The pilot reported that he had 87.4 total pilot hours including 33.8 hours in type, 16.4 solo hours in type, and 45.8 hours of tailwheel aircraft time; and had received his solo and tailwheel endorsements within the previous 2 1/2 months.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the airplane during the landing roll, which resulted in an inadvertent ground swerve and collapse of the left main gear.

Full narrative available

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