FTW99LA043
FTW99LA043

On December 3, 1998, at 1658 central standard time, a Cessna 180, tailwheel equipped airplane, N1774C, was substantially damaged following a loss of control while landing at Springdale, Arkansas. The private pilot and his 2 passengers were not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal cross for which no flight plan was filed. The 194 nautical mile cross country flight originated from the Thompson-Robbins Airport, near Helena, Arkansas, at 1515.

According to personnel at the control tower, the aircraft "ground looped after the pilot lost directional control of the airplane" while on the landing roll on runway 18. In a written statement, the pilot reported that "everything seemed normal during the approach until the airplane touched down in a full stall configuration with 20 degrees of flaps." The pilot added that "the airplane bounced on touchdown and after it settled back on the runway, the airplane began a sharp left turn toward the edge of the runway." Subsequently, the right wing struck the ground and the airplane nosed over coming to rest in the inverted position on the east side of the runway.

The winds at the time of the accident were reported from 190 degrees at 10 knots. Examination of the airplane by personnel at the airport revealed that the left wing strut and the vertical stabilizer sustained structural damage. The FAA inspector confirmed the damage and examined the airplane's landing gear brakes and steering mechanism. No defects were found on either systems.

The 77 hour private pilot earned his pilot certificate in October 1998, and had accumulated a total of 30 flight hours in this make and model airplane. The passengers were the pilot's wife and their infant child who was strapped to an automotive type child seat. The 1953 vintage airplane was equipped with shoulder harnesses for all occupants.

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