LAX99LA224
LAX99LA224

On On June 16, 1999, at 1809 hours Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180K, N181RC, ground looped after landing on runway 21 at the Santa Monica, California, airport. The airplane, operated under 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed for the personal flight and no flight plan was filed. The flight had departed Santa Monica earlier that day. An intermediate stopover was made at the Santa Ana, California, airport. The airplane departed about 1630, and was scheduled to terminate at Santa Monica.

In an interview with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated that the purpose of the flight to Santa Ana was to receive additional training in his conventional gear airplane. The pilot reported no discrepancies during training at Santa Ana or the return trip to Santa Monica. The pilot stated that when he entered the traffic pattern he remained at a higher altitude due to traffic around him. He reported that he made a steep vertical descent before leveling off on final. He then struck his tail during touchdown. The airplane porpoised several times, coming to rest after ground looping.

According to a written statement submitted by the pilot, he attempted to make a three point, full stall landing. He misjudged his round out and stalled the airplane about 1 foot above the runway. The pilot reported that the airplane bounced back into the air and he added a little power, but not enough, which resulted in another hard landing. He stated that a gust of wind then picked up his right wing causing the airplane to turn to the right. He applied left rudder and differential braking but the left wing tip contacted the runway. According to the pilot, the airplane came to rest 90 degrees from the initial touchdown point.

A witness to the accident stated that the airplane landed hard and porpoised down the runway four times before the left wing hit and the airplane ground looped.

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