On June 12, 1998, at 1600 central daylight time, a Bellanca 8GCBC, N53954, operated by Coastal Soaring Association, under Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules, for the purpose of glider towing, nosed over during a landing roll at Coastal Airport in Pensacola, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The private pilot sustained no injuries, and the airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from the Coastal Airport, about 15 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to tow a glider. After releasing the glider, the pilot returned to the Coastal Airport for a full stop landing. While on final approach, the pilot stated that he maintained approximately 110 feet over the landing threshold. This altitude would allow the towing rope to clear the fence at the end of the runway. Since there was no one in the tow rope release area, the pilot chose to leave the rope attached to the airplane and drag it back to the hanger.
The pilot also stated that the windsock showed a slight right crosswind, and that he was high on the approach, so he initiated a right wing side slip to quickly bleed off altitude. After transitioning from the side slip, for a full stall three point landing, the airplane touched down, nosed over, and came to a stop inverted on the runway.
During a telephone conversation with the mechanic performing the post-accident repairs on N53954, he stated that additional airframe damage was discovered to the wing spars. The mechanic stated that there were no apparent problems with the aircraft brakes. The airplane was moved, on the airport, subsequent to the accident, without difficulty. The mechanic also stated that he was told that the airplane's parking brake handle was possibly pulled in flight. He further stated that once the pilot started the landing roll braking action, the brakes would lock. The pilot did not report a mechanical problem with the airplane.