FTW97LA312
FTW97LA312

On August 14, 1997, approximately 2030 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N2849M, was substantially damaged when it ground looped during landing at Longmont, Colorado. The two commercial-rated flight instructors aboard were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Buena Vista, Colorado, approximately 1920.

According to the pilot, he and his pilot-rated passenger were returning from California and had landed at Buena Vista for fuel. The flight from Buena Vista to Longmont was uneventful. Approaching Longmont, the pilot elected to land on runway 29 because there was a "wind light with (a) south component." The pilot said the airplane bounced and veered left, and he overcorrected. The airplane began swerving and the pilot overcorrected again to the right, "inadvertently using rudder and brake." The airplane then ground looped. The pilot said, "Application of power to effect a go-around would have been the correct recovery procedure." The left main landing gear was sheared off, and both the forward and aft left wing spars were bent.

The nearest official weather station is Broomfield-Jefferson County Airport (BJC), located 29 miles to the south of Longmont Airport. At the time of the accident, BJC recorded the wind at 080 degrees at 6 knots. Based on these recorded winds, it was computed that the crosswind component was about 3-1/2 knots and the tailwind component was 6 knots (see exhibit).

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