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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: ERA17CA149
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 08, 2017 in Culpepper, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2017
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN T 6G, registration: N3167G
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that, after a thorough preflight inspection and passenger briefing, he started the engine and noted that there was an 80° left crosswind at 5 knots, gusting to 15 knots. He performed an engine run-up, checked the flight controls, and then departed to fly around the local area for about 20 minutes. He then returned to the departure airport, and because the airplane was only equipped with a single radio and there was traffic congestion, he did not monitor the weather or ask for a wind check. He performed a "high break" at traffic pattern altitude, and while on final approach with the flaps fully extended, he maintained a left-wing-low attitude to correct for the left crosswind. He performed a wheel landing, but as the tailwheel was lowering, the left wing raised "dramatically," and the right wingtip contacted the runway. He added power to abort the landing, but because the right wing was contacting the runway, the airplane pivoted to the right. The airplane went off the right side of the runway and nosed over.
The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions of the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation. The reported wind conditions about 5 minutes before the accident included a variable crosswind between 80° and 170° left of the selected runway heading at 8 knots, gusting to 16 knots.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot's failure to maintain airplane and directional control during the landing roll and subsequent go-around in gusting wind conditions.