NTSB Identification: WPR11CA358
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, July 31, 2011 in Yamhill, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2011
Aircraft: MCDONALD LYNN B AVID FLYER MARK IV, registration: N30456
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 his approach to, and landing on, the private airstrip in his amateur-built, experimental, conventional gear airplane were normal. During rollout in the calm wind condition, the airplane began an uncommanded right turn. The pilot attempted to correct his loss of directional control by application of rudder and engine power. However, the tail wheel had unlocked and was evidently in a castoring mode. Despite his efforts to straighten the airplane’s path, the airplane veered off the runway and impacted a ditch. During the impact sequence one propeller blade broke, and the left wingtip and a wing rib were broken. The pilot reported that he built and maintained the experimental airplane. He opined that the accident could have been prevented had the angle of the tail wheel assembly been correct. After years of use, the tail wheel spring-to-empennage attachment assembly flattened. The incorrect angle altered the tail wheel’s pivot point. This event, combined with the vibration induced during rollout on the gravel runway, allowed the tail wheel to unlock.

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

The pilot’s loss of directional control during landing rollout due to an unlocked tail wheel that was caused by a degradation of the tailwheel assembly mounting angle.

Full narrative available

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