Thursday, October 13, 2016

Luscombe 8B, N39083: Accident occurred October 12, 2016 at Huntingburg Airport (KHNB), Holland, Cass Township, Dubois County, Indiana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Indianapolis, Indiana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA021
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 12, 2016 in Huntingburg, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/05/2017
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8, registration: N39083
Injuries: 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.

According to the pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane, after a 1-hour-long local flight, he returned to the departure airport and noticed that he would be landing with a gusting, direct left crosswind. He reported that he made one low pass about 20 ft above the ground and that he “felt the airplane was steady.” He accomplished a go-around and initiated an approach. He recalled that he made a three-point landing and touched down about 50 mph on the runway centerline. When the wheels touched down, a wind gust lifted the left wing, and he tried to compensate with aileron and throttle, but he “was too slow to regain control of the airplane.” He reported that the left wing struck the ground and that the airplane exited the left side of the runway and nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the firewall.

The METAR at the airport reported that, at the time of the accident, the wind was from 180° at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots. The airplane landed on runway 27.

According to the FAA-H-8083-3B Airplane Flying Handbook, “Crosswind After-Landing Roll,” pages 8-15 and 8-16:

Retaining control on the ground is a critical part of the after-landing roll, because of the weathervaning effect of the wind on the airplane. 

While the airplane is decelerating during the after-landing roll, more and more aileron is applied to keep the upwind wing from rising. Since the airplane is slowing down, there is less airflow around the ailerons and they become less effective. At the same time, the relative wind is becoming more of a crosswind and exerting a greater lifting force on the upwind wing.

When the airplane is coming to a stop, the aileron control must be held fully toward the wind.

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

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot’s delayed crosswind correction during the landing roll with a gusting left crosswind, which resulted in the airplane weathervaning and nosing over.

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