NTSB Identification: CEN09CA028
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, October 20, 2008 in Tuscola, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2008
Aircraft: Howard Super Sky Raider, registration: N3903B
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 reported that he was attempting to takeoff from an unpaved runway. During the takeoff roll, the tail wheel equipped, amateur-built airplane started to "angle to the right." The pilot applied hard left rudder pedal, but the airplane continued to turn right and went off the right side of the 30-foot wide runway, and traveled about 35 feet into a cornfield. The airplane was equipped with heel brakes on the bottom of the rudder pedals, but applying pressure to the top of the rudder pedals operated the rudder. The inspection of the airplane revealed that the rudder operated correctly when the left and right rudder pedals were actuated. The right brake actuated when the right brake pedal was applied. The left brake was not actuated due to the impact damage to the left landing gear leg and wheel. The pilot's logbook indicated that he had not flown between 1981 and August 2008. The pilot had flown 1 hour in the accident airplane with an instructor pilot. The accident flight was the pilot's first solo flight in the accident airplane.

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

The pilot failed to maintain directional control during takeoff roll. A contributing factor was the cornfield and the pilot's lack of recent experience.

Full narrative available

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