NTSB Identification: SEA08CA009.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 10, 2007 in Townsend, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-22/20, registration: N1139C
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 flight instructor stated that the purpose of the flight was for the private pilot/owner to receive instruction for the tailwheel endorsement. After practicing several successful takeoffs and landings, the flight instructor had the private pilot set-up for a full stop wheel landing to runway 16, which had a six knot, 45 degree crosswind. While in ground effect, the private pilot reduced the throttle too fast, which increased the sink rate and the aircraft touched down firmly on the mains. The private pilot arrested the bounce with forward pressure before the aircraft lifted off, and applied some power to maintain directional control. The aircraft then began to make an excursion from the runway centerline and the private pilot lowered the tail which made the aircraft unstable. The flight instructor then assisted the private pilot and stabilized the aircraft. The private pilot then indicated that he could handle the situation, and the flight instructor returned control back to the private pilot. The flight instructor stated that he may have returned control back to the private pilot too quickly, as the situation degraded to large excursion from centerline, and the aircraft diverted from normal track. The flight instructor was not able to regain directional control and the aircraft ground looped to the left. During the ground loop, the right wing and elevator contacted the ground and were structurally damaged.

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

The private pilot/student failed to maintain directional control during the landing roll, and remedial action was not possible by the flight instructor which resulted in an inadvertent ground loop.

Full narrative available

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