On September 30, 1997, at 1646 central daylight time, a Cessna 170A, tailwheel airplane, N10433, owned and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage during landing at Will Rogers World Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The private pilot and the pilot rated passenger did not receive injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight and a flight plan was not filed. The flight departed the Page Municipal Airport in Oklahoma City at approximately 1630.

During a personal interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, and on the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that he flew from California to Oklahoma via the airlines. He and the pilot rated passenger planned to ferry the airplane to California where it was going to be sold for the owner who had moved from Oklahoma to Illinois. The pilot rated passenger was not endorsed for this airplane. The private pilot obtained his pilot certificate in the Cessna 120 tailwheel airplane and had accumulated 120 hours of flight time in that make and model. The insurance company for N10433 required a 1 hour checkout prior to operating as pilot-in-command (PIC). The airplane was based at Page Municipal Airport and the private pilot received a 1 hour checkout (insurance requirement) at that airport before departing as PIC.

According to the pilot, he was cleared to land the airplane on runway 35L at the Will Rogers World Airport with reported winds from 060 degrees at 9 knots. During the landing roll, the airplane had slowed to 25 mph when it veered to the right and started to groundloop. The airplane turned 110 degrees when the left main gear slipped off the side of the runway, sank into the grass along the edge of the runway, and broke free from the strut. Subsequently, the strut sank into the soft grass and the outboard portion of the left wing was crushed as it settled into the grass as the airplane came to a stop. Structural damage occurred to the outboard left wing, left aileron, and propeller.

During a personal interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot rated passenger stated that he had received 8 hours of dual instruction in a Cessna 120 and a biennial flight review prior to his departure for the Cessna 170A trip. Considering his total flight time in a tailwheel airplane, the insurance company for the Cessna 170A required him to receive 5 hours of dual instruction to fly N10433. The allotted time for ferrying N10433 to California did not permit him to receive the dual hours prior to the planned departure from Oklahoma; therefore, he did not intend to fly the airplane until reaching California where he could meet the insurance requirements.

The pilot rated passenger further stated that the airplane was cleared to land on runway 35L with the winds reported from 060 degrees at 9 knots. The pilot landed the airplane in a 3 point landing attitude. During the landing roll, the airplane veered to the right of the runway. There was a hard shimmy and vibration. At some point the left wheel separated from the airplane and the propeller and wing struck the dirt. Structural damage occurred to the left wing outboard of the main strut.

The FAA inspectors examining the airplane reported that the left outboard wing was bent upward and the wing spar was twisted. The left lower fuselage structure was wrinkled. The left main landing gear wheel and axle separated from the aircraft. The threads from the "top two nuts and one lower nut were stripped from their bolts holding the axle on the landing gear." The brake disc was "heavily rusted and pitted." The last annual inspection was performed on September 1, 1997. The FAA airworthiness inspector stated that the "appearance of the aircraft is a generally neglected condition, with worn door hinges, poor operating door latches, fogged instrument glass, and corrosion in plain view." Maintenance records were not submitted to the Safety Board.

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