Saturday, March 23, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: Sopwith Camel, N225JB; accident occurred October 07, 2018 at Bolivar Municipal Airport (M17), Polk County, Missouri

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bolivar, MO
Accident Number: GAA19CA012
Date & Time: 10/07/2018, 1820 CDT
Registration: N225JB
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, the tailwheel-equipped airplane touched down and veered left. The pilot attempted to correct with opposite rudder; however, the airplane continued left. He then attempted a go-around, but the airplane exited the runway, struck a ditch, and then nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder. 

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 during landing.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Sloped/uneven terrain - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery

Landing-landing roll
Runway excursion
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Engineer; Private
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/30/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 18400 hours (Total, all aircraft), 3 hours (Total, this make and model), 14587 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N225JB
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 63017
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1106 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3.24 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
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: KSGF, 1270 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 21 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2352 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 185°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4100 ft agl
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: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Bolivar, MO (M17)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Bolivar, MO (M17)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1755 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Bolivar Muni (M17)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1092 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 18
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4000 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: 37.596111, -93.347778 (est)

1 comment:

  1. I have discovered that these type of planes need to be slowed down to near stall speed when landing. If you are halfway down a 4000’ runway and loose control, you’re probably going way to fast. Also using the airlerons to control your direction by following the nose is way more effective than the using only the rudder since the rudder effectiveness diminishes due to your tail being on the ground as speed decreases. I only have 600 hours in these short coupled biplanes. Rudder and airleron imputs need to be very small but quick. If you have to think about it, it’s probably too late. They demand practice and your complete attention until you are completely stopped. I try to do at least six landing every time I fly one to stay current. Thanks