On February 23, 2003, about 1611 Pacific standard time, a Luscombe T-8F, N1822B, operated by the pilot, collided with terrain during an attempted go-around following an aborted landing at the Gillespie Field, El Cajon, California. The airplane was substantially damaged. Neither the airline transport certificated pilot (ATP) nor the second pilot, who previously had been handling the flight controls, was injured. Both pilots possessed certified flight instructor certificates. The accident occurred during an instructional flight that was performed under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from El Cajon about 1529.

According to the ATP, his son had performed three takeoffs and landings in the traffic pattern. In pertinent part, the ATP indicated that during rollout on the fourth landing on runway 27R he pulled the conventional gear airplane's control stick aft. The airplane veered left, directional control was lost, and the airplane collided with a taxiway sign. Thereafter, the ATP applied full engine power to go around. The airplane veered right, exited the right side of the runway, and became airborne. While in ground effect, the airplane's right wing tip impacted a nearby dirt embankment. The airplane came to rest in a grassy field on airport property.

The ATP also indicated that during the attempted landing the left crosswind increased in speed and a gust was encountered. He estimated that the wind was from 220 degrees at 10 knots, with an occasional gust to 14 knots. At 1550, the control tower reported that the wind was from 230 degrees at 6 knots.

In the ATP pilot's completed "Aircraft Accident Report," he indicated that his total flight time was about 10,756.4 hours. His flying experience in the accident model of airplane was 11.8 hours. The ATP also indicated that, overall, his experience flying tail wheel equipped airplanes was 1,041.5 hours. The second pilot's total flight time was about 945.0 hours. His flying experience in the accident model of airplane was 14.0 hours.

The ATP opined that a mechanical malfunction may have contributed to his inability to maintain directional control. According to the ATP, during the landing rollout with the prevailing left crosswind condition, he had applied full up (aft stick) elevator control pressure and left aileron (stick) control. This action may have resulted in the tail wheel housing/structure bending in an upward direction thereby restricting or jamming rudder movement.

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