NTSB Identification: LAX97LA162.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 17, 1997 in MESA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: North American SNJ-5, registration: N9013A
Injuries: 2 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 pilot stated that there were buildings adjacent to the runway that occluded the surface wind such that there was no apparent crosswind at touchdown. However, as the tail wheel came down, wind from between the buildings caused the airplane to swerve suddenly to the right and depart the runway surface into soft dirt, where the right main gear dug in and broke off. He further stated that in this model, the tail wheel unlocks by pushing the control stick forward. Since a wheel landing was made, he thought that he may have pushed the stick forward enough to unlock the tail wheel and then did not get it back into the relock range before encountering the sudden onset of the crosswind.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate compensation for the crosswind condition, and his failure to maintain directional control during landing. Factors related to the accident were: the crosswind, and the pilot's inadvertent unlocking of the tail wheel during a wheel landing. Full narrative available
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