NTSB Identification: DEN00LA126.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 08, 2000 in ERIE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4785F
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot receiving instruction performed a three-point landing, and the airplane bounced. The airplane immediately veered to the right following the second touchdown. The flight instructor took control of the airplane and applied full left rudder; the airplane exited the right side of the runway and ground looped. Postaccident examination of the tail wheel steering assembly revealed that the two chains/springs that controlled the tail wheel steering had an estimated 1 1/2 inches of slack in them. The steering chain was being held together by a 'carabiner.' A maintenance person said that the chains and springs connected to the tail wheel steering assembly 'should be tight enough to give the pilot positive steering control.' The maintenance records indicate that the airplane had accumulated approximately 4 flight hours since major rebuild.

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

Aircraft control was not possible by the flight instructor due to the inadequate maintenance adjustment of the tail wheel steering system by maintenance personnel. Factors were the inadequate aircraft preflight by the second pilot who was receiving a recurrency check ride, and the inadequate supervision, of the second pilot who was performing the preflight, by the flight instructor.

Full narrative available

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