NTSB Identification: LAX02LA051.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 17, 2001 in Camarillo, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Vernon Sonerai IIL, registration: N6399D
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.

On the landing rollout the airplane departed the runway and came to rest inverted in an adjacent field. The adjacent field had recently been plowed, and contained furrows. The airplane traveled perpendicular to the furrows and nosed over. The purpose of the flight was to practice maneuvers, and fulfill the experimental operating certificate limitations intial 40-hour requirement. The pilot had accrued 5 hours of flight time on the airplane. When he returned to land, he noted a crosswind, but did not believe that it would have an affect on the landing. There were no mechanical anomalies noted with the airplane by the pilot. Of note in the pilot's written statement was the directional instability that he encountered during takeoffs in the 7 hours that were placed on the airplane within the previous year. He made several modifications, mostly rigging changes to the tailwheel, to improve the takeoff characteristics. While in contact with the Sonerai technical representative, the owner stated that there were plans to convert the conventional landing gear airplane to a tricycle landing gear. The proposed modification would solve the instability problem.

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

Failure of the pilot to maintain directional control on the landing rollout. Factors were the owner/pilot's inadequate remedial design changes and the freshly plowed field.

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