NTSB Identification: SEA04CA105.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 16, 2004 in Nampa, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Fetherolf Hatz CB-1, registration: NX26WF
Injuries: 1 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 came to the airport to regain takeoff and landing proficiency in the subject aircraft since he had not flown it for a "considerable period of time." After taking off from runway 29, he continued around the VFR pattern, and established the aircraft on a final approach for a three-point landing on the same runway. As he crossed the runway threshold at about 65 mph, he added a little power and started moving the control stick aft. The aircraft's nose then moved upwards, partially blocking the pilot's view of the runway, so he looked along the left side of the cowling in an attempt to keep the runway in sight. Although he expected the aircraft to slow rather quickly, it did not do so, and continued to float at a height of about five feet above the ground. The aircraft then suddenly dropped hard onto the runway and bounced back into the air. During this sequence, the pilot "lost visual orientation with the direction the plane was headed," so he added full power in an attempt to execute a go-around, but the aircraft dropped onto the runway a second time. According to the pilot, he then moved the stick to the "full back" position, but the aircraft did not lift off again, and instead exited the side of the runway where its left main gear impacted a mound of earth. At that point, the left main gear separated from the aircraft, which continued on for about another thirty yards before the right main gear collapsed, which resulted in significant damage to the wings and fuselage. After the accident, the pilot noticed that a slight tailwind was blowing. There was no evidence of any anomaly in the flight control or breaking system of the aircraft.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the tail wheel aircraft during an aborted landing. Factors include a slight tailwind, and a mound (berm) of earth in the area where the aircraft departed the side of the runway.

Full narrative available

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