NTSB Identification: ERA11CA471
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 24, 2011 in Ocala, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/27/2011
Aircraft: PAYNE/FOSTER GLASAIR, registration: N250CH
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.

According to the pilot, he landed the airplane with a crosswind, and during the rollout the airplane veered to the left, ground looped, and departed the left side of the runway. The right main landing gear became caught in a grassy area, which brought the airplane to rest and resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the tailwheel lock mechanism of the free-castering tailwheel assembly was unable to keep the tailwheel engaged in the locked position. The mechanism that locked the tailwheel assembly in place was not broken; however, the spring of that particular tailwheel assembly kit worked in compression, rather than tension, which resulted in less pressure being applied to the tailwheel lock and greater susceptibility for the tailwheel to unlock during a crosswind landing. Subsequently, when the lock mechanism was moved repetitively, it became dislodged from the notch.

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

The failure of the tailwheel locking mechanism to remain engaged while landing in a crosswind, which resulted in a loss of directional control and runway excursion.

Full narrative available

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