FTW99LA081
FTW99LA081

On February 13, 1999, at 1235 central standard time, a Cessna 188 tail-wheel equipped agricultural airplane, N8295G, was substantially damaged during landing roll at the Alexandria International Airport, Alexandria, Louisiana. The commercial pilot, who was the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 positioning flight which originated from Winsboro, Louisiana, approximately 1115.

During a telephone interview conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot stated that one week prior to the accident, he flew the airplane to a private strip in Winsboro, Louisiana, for scheduled maintenance repairs. One of the maintenance discrepancies noted was "difficulty steering the aircraft to the right without the use of the right brake." On the following Saturday, the pilot went to pick up the airplane and fly it back to its home base in Alexandria. The pilot stated that the mechanics told him that they adjusted the steering cables to the tail wheel. While taxiing to the takeoff area, the pilot noticed that he still needed to use some right braking to steer to the right, but elected to takeoff and return to Alexandria.

The pilot was cleared to land on runway 36 at the Alexandria International Airport. The pilot stated that the winds were reported by the tower controller as being from 350 degrees at 6 knots. He added that the wheel-landing was uneventful, however, "at 40 mph, the tail started to come down and the airplane made a sharp 90 degree turn to the left." The pilot attempted to compensate for the left turn with the right rudder to no avail. Before the pilot could compensate with right braking, the right main landing gear collapsed and the right wing impacted the runway.

The right main landing gear separated, the spray pump was partially separated, and the right wing sustained structural damage.

At the time of the accident, the pilot had accumulated 3,169 hours of total flight time, of which 450 hours were in agricultural aircraft. The pilot stated that the majority of his tail-wheel experience was in a Cessna 188.

Examination of the tail-wheel equipped airplane was conducted by a FAA certified mechanic under the supervision of an FAA inspector. According to both the mechanic and the inspector, no anomalies were found in the tail-wheel steering system that would have prevented normal operation of the airplane.

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