Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Aerotek Pitts S-1S Special, N91JW: Accident occurred September 17, 2016 at Reno-Stead Airport (KRTS), Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA500
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 17, 2016 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/04/2017
Aircraft: AEROTEK PITTS SPECIAL, registration: N91JW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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.

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped biplane, during the landing roll, the tailwheel became “stuck” in an expansion joint that runs down the centerline of the runway. She reported that when the tailwheel became unstuck, the biplane “swung wildly to the left,” the bottom right wing struck the ground, and the airplane came to a stop on the runway after turning 180° to the left. 

A video of the accident, taken by a camera mounted on the accident biplane and posted on social media, revealed that the biplane touched down on the runway to the left of the centerline. During the landing roll and after crossing the taxiway A2 intersection, the biplane began drifting right. The tailwheel is seen crossing the centerline expansion joint about 30° to the joint and then rolling over the joint without hesitation. The tail is then seen swinging to the right at an increasing rate. The biplane ground looped to the left, and the bottom right wing sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or anomalies with the airplane that would have prevented normal operation. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a ground loop.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

http://registry.faa.gov/N91JW

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA500
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 17, 2016 in Reno, NV
Aircraft: AEROTEK PITTS SPECIAL, registration: N91JW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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.

According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped biplane, during the landing roll the tailwheel became "stuck" in an expansion joint that runs down the centerline of the runway. She reported that when the tailwheel came unstuck, the biplane "swung wildly to the left", the bottom right wing struck the ground, and the airplane came to a stop on the runway after turning 180° to the left.

A video of the accident, taken by a camera mounted on the accident biplane and posted on social media revealed that the biplane touched down on the runway to the left of the centerline. During the landing roll, after crossing the taxiway A2 intersection, the biplane began drifting to the right. The tailwheel is seen crossing the centerline expansion joint about 30° to the joint, and rolls over the joint without hesitation. The tail is then seen swinging to the right at an increasing rate. The biplane ground looped to the left and the bottom right wing sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies that would have prevented normal operation.

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