NTSB Identification: LAX04CA185.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Monday, April 12, 2004 in Grass Valley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Aeronca 65-TAC, registration: N39515
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot experienced a loss of directional control, veered off the runway, and collided with trees while on the landing roll. The pilot stated that the runway he was attempting to land on is solely used for landing at the airport, due to an excessive gradient. During the approach, the pilot noted tailwind conditions and opted to perform a wheel landing. While on the landing roll, the airplane encountered a gust of wind from the right, resulting in the tail being pushed to the left. The airplane veered to the right and began a 45-degree arc off the right side of the runway. The pilot applied full left rudder pressure and left brake to counteract the veer. The airplane departed the right side of the runway and collided with trees. The pilot stated that on the right side of the runway are two groups of dense trees. In between the tree groups, about halfway down the runway, air funnels through creating wind gusts. He thought this was why he encountered sudden crosswind gusts. The pilot reported no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. The pilot reported that the winds were from 190 degrees at 5 knots.

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

the pilot's inadequate compensation for wind conditions and failure to maintain directional control of the airplane. Factors in the accident were wind gusts and tailwind/crosswind conditions.

Full narrative available

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