NTSB Identification: CHI05CA219.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 05, 2005 in Watertown, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: American Champion (ACAC) 7GCBC, registration: N515KG
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 tailwheel airplane veered off the runway during landing roll and impacted a muddy ditch. The pilot reported that after touchdown the airplane veered to the left and he used right rudder input in an attempt to realign with the runway centerline. The pilot stated that "next we were heading extreme right, I had a feeling the tailwheel was off the ground." The flight instructor stated that she was "talking [the pilot] through the landing, and also helping out with [control] stick movement." The flight instructor reported that after touchdown, as she began to bring the control stick aft the pilot pushed the control stick forward which elevated the tailwheel off the runway. The flight instructor stated that the pilot also "pushed right rudder" which turned the airplane "sideways." The flight instructor reported that she "immediately brought the [control] stick back and tried to correct the rudder." The flight instructor stated that the tailwheel came back down to the runway, but she was unable to "correct the rudder" because of "resistance." The flight instructor reported that she felt the pilot had "frozen on the controls." The flight instructor stated that the only thing she could do was "slam on the brakes" in an attempt to stop the airplane before it entered a ditch alongside the runway. The flight instructor reported that the "mud was so deep that the brakes were not effective and [airplane] kept sliding" into the ditch where it nosed over. The pilot had no experience in the accident airplane make/model prior to the accident flight. The flight instructor had approximately 20 hours in conventional (tailwheel) airplanes, of which 16.6 hours were in the accident airplane make/model.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flightcrew's failure to maintain directional control during landing rollout.
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