NTSB Identification: NYC05CA080.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 09, 2005 in Rhinebeck, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Palen Sopwith Camel, registration: N7157Q
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 went to the airport for the purpose of conducting an initial checkout in the single-seat replica of a Sopwith Camel. Assisted by a flight instructor who was "highly experienced" in the same make and model, the pilot completed the preflight, rehearsed various cockpit operations, and then boarded to practice taxiing. Afterwards, the pilot conducted a debriefing with the instructor, and then executed his first flight, which lasted approximately 25 minutes. After completing the flight, the pilot conducted another debriefing, and then attempted a second flight. During the takeoff roll, the airplane accelerated "normally" down the turf runway with the tailwheel in the up position for 4 to 6 seconds, and then nosed over, causing substantial damage to the top wing, and vertical stabilizer. Examination of the runway revealed the initial propeller ground scars were collocated with a set of ruts running perpendicular to the takeoff roll. At the time of the accident the pilot had approximately 1 hour in make and model.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the takeoff roll. A factor in the accident was the uneven runway, and the pilot's lack of total experience in make and model.

Full narrative available

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