NTSB Identification: IAD05LA074.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 11, 2005 in Paducah, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Waco GXE, registration: N903H
Injuries: 2 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.
After purchasing a tailwheel equipped antique biplane, the pilot departed on the first leg of a cross-country flight to his home airport. While attempting to land at an airport for a rest stop, the pilot executed a low power, steep approach to the asphalt runway. During the flare for landing, the airplane touched down early, skipped, became airborne, and touched down a second time. The airplane then swerved to the right, and ground looped, substantially damaging the airplane. Examination of the landing gear revealed that the main landing gear wheels were "toed out" approximately 2-degrees. The tailwheel steering springs that connected the rudder to the tailwheel were "small," and the tailwheel would release to "full swivel" at a steering angle less than that required for full rudder deflection. The pilot believed however; that the airplane could have been controlled during the landing if differential braking was used to correct a significant swerve. He also stated that, had he discovered that the tailwheel would "release steering," he would have had another tailwheel installed before flying the airplane home.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing resulting in a ground loop and impact with the runway. A factor in the accident was the limited authority of the tailwheel steering system. Full narrative available
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