Saturday, February 02, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Experimental RoadRunner, N949TS; accident occurred January 29, 2019 at Truckee-Tahoe Airport (KTRK), Nevada County, California

View of damage to right wing lift strut.
Federal Aviation Administration 

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Truckee, CA

Accident Number: GAA19CA120
Date & Time: 01/29/2019, 1427 PST
Registration: N949TS
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, during the landing roll, the tailwheel-equipped airplane began to ground loop to the left. He corrected with opposite rudder and aileron and regained control of the airplane, but the airplane started to veer right. The pilot added that, while the airplane was veering right toward the edge of the runway, he assumed the snow on the adjacent field was compacted and would efficiently slow the airplane, so he let the airplane exit the runway to the right; however, the snow was "softer than [he] anticipated," and the airplane nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right-wing lift strut.

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

The airport's automated weather observation system reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 020┬║ at 3 knots. The pilot landed the airplane on runway 20. 

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 during landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper decision to allow the airplane to exit the runway onto a snow-covered field, which resulted in a nose-over.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Factor)

Environmental issues
Snowy/icy terrain - Decision related to condition (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Nose over/nose down
Attempted remediation/recovery
Runway excursion

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/01/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1434 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6379 hours (Total, this make and model), 1388 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 32 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 9.2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4.2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: EMMET SMITH
Registration: N949TS
Model/Series: ROADRUNNER
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 0818
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/13/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 63 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: HIO-360-B1A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
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: KTRK, 5900 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2224 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 8000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.04 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 7°C / -1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Beckwourth, CA (O02)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Truckee, CA (TRK)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 PST
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Airport: Truckee-Tahoe (TRK)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5904 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4654 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop 

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: 39.320000, -120.139444 (est)

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