On August 4, 2005, about 0830 mountain standard time, a Maule M-4-220C, N2020U, ground looped during the landing roll at the Ryan Filed Airport, Tucson, Arizona. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross country flight departed Blythe Airport, Blythe, California, about 0630 Pacific daylight time, with a planned destination of Tucson. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the pilot reported that as he entered the proximity of Ryan Field Airport, about 20 nautical miles (nm) to the northwest, he received weather information from the airport's automated weather observing system (AWOS). It indicated weather conditions at the airport were calm wind with a density altitude greater than 4,000 feet mean sea level (msl). After executing a normal approach, the pilot configured the tail-wheel equipped airplane for a three-point landing. The airplane touched down over the runway centerline, and the pilot noticed light winds from the west. After a faster-than-normal landing roll, about 300 feet from the initial touchdown point, the airplane's ground speed began to dissipate. As the pilot was about to apply brake pressure, the airplane suddenly veered right of the runway centerline. The airplane then veered to the left, and the pilot experienced a loss of directional control. The right main landing gear collapsed, and the right wing contacted the runway surface.
The pilot reported no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. In addition, the pilot stated that Maule airplanes are difficult to land in tailwind conditions, and a pilot with greater experience may have been able to better control the airplane; he had a reported 60 to 70 hours of flight experience in the same make and model airplane.