ATL02LA085
ATL02LA085

On April 15, 2002, at 1910 eastern daylight time, a Pitts S1C, N91GD collided with terrain and nosed over during landing at Gainesville Regional Airport in Gainesville, Florida. The airplane was owned and operated by the private pilot, who was practicing touch-and-go landings to Runway 10. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private pilot received minor injuries. The local flight originated from Gainesville Regional Airport, Gainesville, Florida, at 1900.

After a sequence of touch-and-go landings, the pilot made a slight turn to the left on approach to Runway 10. The airplane then made a right turn into the ground. The airplane came to rest in a nose low attitude.

According to the pilot, on the day of the accident, he took off and flew to an upper airworks area northwest of the Gainesville Regional Airport. The pilot further intended to return to the airport to practice landings. The pilot did a touch-and-go on runway 06, and was then asked to convert to runway 10. After a second touch and go on runway 10, the pilot was instructed to make a right downwind to runway 10. During the approach to landing, the pilot felt there was an excessive left quartering tailwind and appeared to be running out of runway. The pilot then advanced the power for an attempted go-around. The pilot stated that he did not feel he was getting full power, and was running out of runway remaining. The pilot has no recollection of the flight. At the time of the accident, the wind was reported at 7-10 knots, variable direction without gusts.

The pilot stated that he should have refused landing clearance on runway 10, as he felt the tailwind was excessive and he felt overwhelmed by the situation. In addition, the pilot was unsure if there were mechanical malfunctions within the engine that may have produced a hesitation on go-around, and the pilot also stated that the tail wheel might have unlocked.

The airplane impacted the ground on the nose and right wing. The airplane bounced and rotated 180 degrees on the vertical axis, landing on the tail and tail wheel. The airplane bounced again, rotating another 180 degrees on the vertical axis, landing on the nose and right wing, and stopped on the nose and left wing. Inspection of the airplane revealed the upper right wing tip broken at the I-beam, the lower right wing skin wrinkled, showing internal damage, the tail wheel bent, the left elevator bent, and the engine bent up at a 30-degree angle.

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