On August 4, 1997, at 0850 hours mountain standard time, a Miller S-1, N22RM, ground looped during landing at Cottonwood, Arizona. The aircraft sustained substantial damage and the commercial pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a personal flight under 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The flight originated at Montezuma Airport, Camp Verde, Arizona, at 0830. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the information provided in his report, the pilot had 2 hours in this particular aircraft. The pilot stated that he took off the morning of the accident flight to "get the feel of the aircraft and how it controlled and reacted." When he landed during his fourth touchdown, he said he "came in a little too fast and the roll out was too far." He stated that the right brake responded but that the left brake did not respond. The airplane went off the right side of runway 32 and came to rest at a 90-degree angle to the runway.
An FAA airworthiness inspector from the Scottsdale, Arizona, Flight Standards District Office examined the aircraft. He reported that the aircraft design had several deficiencies. He found that the rudder was too small for this aircraft and stated that the rudder would have no steering effect while the tail wheel was on the ground. Additionally, he stated that the tail wheel horn arm was minimal and would be very unresponsive considering the 2-inch diameter size of the tail wheel. He also reported that the main wheels and brakes are from a Honda "50" motorcycle. The original motorcycle design was intended to support a 200-pound vehicle. The aircraft is approximately 1,200 pounds. The inspector could not find any evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction with the landing gear or brake systems.