On December 28, 1997, at 1400 central standard time, a Cessna 180J tailwheel-equipped airplane, N121KS, registered to and operated by a private individual, was substantially damaged when it nosed over while taxiing for takeoff on runway 34R at Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, Texas. The commercial pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal cross country flight which was originating at the time of the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone interview, conducted by the NTSB investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that prior to contacting ground control, he listened to the ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) which indicated that the winds were from the northwest at 15 to 25 knots. The pilot further reported that he was concerned about the wind and requested to takeoff from the intersection of taxiway D and runway 34R. He was cleared for takeoff from the intersection and taxied toward the centerline of the runway. At this point, a wind gust "hit the airplane and spun it counterclockwise." The airplane nosed down and came to rest balanced on the left main landing gear, the left wing tip, and the propeller spinner. The pilot got out of the airplane and attempted to hold the airplane; however, the wind blew the airplane over onto its back. The pilot, who holds an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate, reported that both wings, the vertical stabilizer, and the rudder sustained structural damage.
In the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot indicated that the winds at the time of the accident were from 280 to 310 degrees at approximately 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 30 knots. At 1353, seven minutes prior to the accident, the recorded winds at the airport were from a true heading of 300 degrees at 24 knots with gusts to 31 knots. The crosswind component for a takeoff on runway 34R (true heading 352 degrees) with a wind from 300 degrees at 30 knots was calculated at 23 knots. According to the Cessna 180J Pilot's Operating Handbook, the maximum demonstrated crosswind velocity for the airplane was 12 knots. In the section of the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report entitled "Recommendation (How Could This Accident Have Been Prevented)," the pilot wrote, "selection of runway that more aligns with current winds."