On April 7, 1997, about 1320 eastern daylight time, a Rosen experimental airplane, N213JR, registered to a private owner, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced a hard landing at Lakeland-Linder Regional Airport, Lakeland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from Fernando Beach, Florida, about 1 hour 20 minutes before the accident.

The pilot stated he made a crosswind landing to runway 27 left. He touched fast and made a hard landing, and the airplane began to porpoise. He made a go-around and remained in right closed traffic. The tower controller informed him that his tailwheel appeared to be hanging down, and to make a low pass by the control tower. A short time later, the pilot informed the tower that his windshield was obscured with oil. He attempted another approach for landing which resulted in another go-around. He remained in closed traffic and made another landing in the grass to the left of runway 27.

A witness stated he was west bound on a taxiway and observed the accident airplane during his landing sequence. As the pilot started his round out/flare the nose pitched up and the airplane banked to the left. The airplane touched down on the left main gear and tail wheel. The airplane started to porpoise and bounced four times before the pilot initiated a go-around. The tailwheel broke off on the third bounce. The witness called the advisory tower, informed them of the situation, and asked them to relay the information to the control tower, so they could notify the pilot.

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