NTSB Identification: SEA06CA149.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 25, 2006 in Auburn, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Maule M-7-235C, registration: N15SN
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 said that he noticed that the right clevis of the right tail wheel spring to the wheel's steering arm was starting to open several hours before a 10 hour maintenance inspection. The mechanic crimped the clevis during this inspection. After the inspection was completed, the pilot returned to his home airport and landed on runway 16 with a direct right crosswind of 5-10 knots. The pilot said that his landing was a normal right crosswind landing and the airplane rolled out normally for 200-300 yards. He said that the airplane started to turn right, and he applied full left rudder with no effect [a photograph of the accident scene showed a serpentine black skip mark approximately 20 feet to the left of the 75 foot wide runway center line]. The pilot said that the nose of the aircraft had started to swing sharply to the right before he could "think" of using differential braking. The airplane exited the right side of the runway and came to rest on its left wing tip, left main landing gear, and engine. The left wing and aileron were bent and wrinkled. Postaccident examination of the tail wheel assembly revealed that the clevis which connected the right tail wheel spring to the wheel's steering arm was disconnected. It was not determined why the tail wheel shimmied during the landing roll. At the time of the accident, the pilot had approximately 99 hours of flight experience, with 23 hours in make and model.

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

The loss of directional control [not possible] during landing roll as a result of the disconnected tail wheel steering assembly [for undetermined reasons], which led to an inadvertent ground loop during the landing roll.

Full narrative available

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