Saturday, February 09, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Piper PA-18-135, N89018, accident occurred January 03, 2019 at Vance Brand Airport (KLMO), Longmont, Colorado

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

Aviation Accident Final 
Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Longmont, CO

Accident Number: GAA19CA117
Date & Time: 01/03/2019, 1525 MST
Registration: N89018
Aircraft: Piper PA 18-135
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot reported that it was his first flight as pilot-in-command of the tundra tire- and tailwheel-equipped airplane. While on the fourth three-point landing to the concrete runway, after the tailwheel touched down, the airplane veered left. He corrected with right rudder and attempted to return to the runway centerline and then applied left rudder, but the airplane continued to veer right. Subsequently, the airplane ground looped to the right, and the left wing struck the ground.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage.

The owner of the airplane, who was seated in the rear seat, 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 during landing.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 22, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Single-engine; Glider
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/21/2015
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 11/14/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) , 0.5 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N89018
Model/Series: PA 18-135
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1954
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal; Utility
Serial Number: 18-3583
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4680.7 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 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: KLMO, 5056 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1515 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 318°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -7°C / -11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Longmont, CO (LMO)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Longmont, CO (LMO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  MST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Concrete
Airport Elevation: 5055 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 29
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4799 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Touch and Go; Traffic Pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.164167, -105.163611 (est)

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