NTSB Identification: FTW98LA265.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 13, 1998 in MIDLAND, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper J3, registration: N42559
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 commercial pilot lost control of the tailwheel equipped airplane when the wind shifted to a gusty tailwind during the landing roll. Witness observed the airplane execute a 'nice wheel landing on the centerline' of runway 16. After all 3 wheels were on the ground, the airplane started drifting to the left of the centerline. The left main wheel went off the pavement and as the right wing started to come up, the pilot advanced the engine to full power. The witness stated that he looked back at the windsock, he noticed that the winds had suddenly shifted from a quartering headwind, to a gusting quartering tailwind. The airplane cleared the airport's perimeter fence; however, the left wing of the airplane impacted a power line pole. The winds at the Midland International Airport, located 9 nautical miles to the northwest were reported from 230 degrees at 11 knots. In the enclosed NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot reported that the winds were from the southwest at 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots.

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

The inadvertent ground loop during the landing roll. A factor was the sudden windshift.

Full narrative available

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