Sunday, February 10, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Champion 7ECA Citabria, N36268; accident occurred October 05, 2018 in Cleveland, Liberty County, Texas

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Cleveland, TX
Accident Number: GAA19CA019
Date & Time: 10/05/2018, 1200 CDT
Registration: N36268
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while landing on a private grass airstrip in a crosswind, a wind gust from the right made the tailwheel-equipped airplane weathervane into the wind. He added that, while correcting for the crosswind, the airplane drifted left, and the left main landing gear sunk into soft ground. The airplane then pivoted left, the right main landing gear exited the runway, and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing, right wing spar, and left wing lift strut.

The pilot reported that the wind was variable at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control while landing in a gusting crosswind conditions.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Soft surface - Effect on operation
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion
Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 54, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/25/2018
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/07/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 22000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 234 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Champion
Registration: N36268
Model/Series: 7ECA No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: 963-73
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner:  On file
Rated Power: hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCXO, 245 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 25 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1653 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 273°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2600 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3600 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C / 24°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Cleveland, TX (6R3)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Cleveland, TX
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1130 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  30.336389, -94.939444 (est)

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