On Sunday, March 12, 1995 about 1415 eastern standard time, a Cessna 120, N77467, owned and operated by Dennis Wilson, was substantially damaged during takeoff from Aero Drome Airport, in Skaneateles, New York. The student pilot was not injured. A visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the training flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions existed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
This was the student's final cross-country flight needed to qualify for his private pilot license. He reported about 140 solo takeoffs in his tailwheel-equipped airplane.
According to the pilot, "I executed a sharp 180 degree turn and lined up with the centerline. Since I stopped at this point and did not pull ahead, the tail wheel was unlocked and at approximately 90 degrees to the runway axis. Upon applying power, the tail wheel carried the rear of the plane slightly to the right (and the nose to the left) as it straightened out to trail behind. My reaction to the leftward movement of the nose was to apply right rudder... As the craft rolled off the pavement on its straight, misguided course, the left wheel approached a snow pile at the intersection of a taxiway with the runway." The pilot reduced power to abort the takeoff. Upon the application of brakes, the aircraft nosed over and came to rest inverted. The piloted stated the accident could have been prevented by a better understanding of the tail wheel mechanism, and a better familiarity with the braking characteristics of the aircraft.