Sunday, August 11, 2019

Abnormal Runway Contact: North American SNJ-4, N243CC; accident occurred August 12, 2017 at Ashland County Airport (3G4), Ohio

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Cleveland; North Olmsted, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ashland, OH
Accident Number: CEN17LA323
Date & Time: 08/12/2017, 1117 EDT
Registration: N243CC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Abnormal runway contact
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The private pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane stated that, during a "wheel landing," the airplane bounced twice upon touchdown then veered off the runway into a grass area. The pilot was unable to return the airplane to the runway surface because the airplane was "slipping on the grass" while the pilot applied left rudder and left wheel brake. The airplane nosed over when it came to a stop in the grass area and came to rest inverted. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane. According to the Airplane Flying Handbook, corrective action from a bounced landing is dependent upon its severity, and such action can range from an application of power to cushion a subsequent landing to performance of a go-around.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper recovery from a bounced landing, which resulted in a loss of directional control.


Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Incorrect action performance - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

On August 12, 2017, at 1117 eastern daylight time, a North American SNJ-4, N243CC, experienced a bounced landing and veered off runway 19 at Ashland County Airport (3G4), Ashland, Ohio. The airplane nosed-over, impacted terrain, and received substantial damage. The private pilot sustained serious injuries, and a passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Akron Fulton International Airport (AKR), Akron, Ohio, about 1100 and was destined to 3G4.

The pilot stated that during a "wheel landing" on runway 19, the airplane bounced on touch down and during the second bounce veered off the runway into a grass area. The pilot was unable to return airplane to the runway surface because the airplane was "slipping on the grass" while he applied left rudder and left wheel brake. The airplane nosed-over when it came to a stop in the grass area and impacted the ground.

The pilot stated there was structural damage to the airframe, left wing, and empennage. He stated there was no mechanical malfunction/failure with the airplane.

The Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3B) stated in part:

"Since a bounce occurs when the airplane makes contact with the ground before the proper touchdown attitude is attained, it is almost invariably accompanied by the application of excessive back-elevator pressure. This is usually the result of the pilot realizing too late that the airplane is not in the proper attitude and attempting to establish it just as the second touchdown occurs.

The corrective action for a bounce is the same as for ballooning and similarly depends on its severity. When it is very slight and there is no extreme change in the airplane's pitch attitude, a follow-up landing may be executed by applying sufficient power to cushion the subsequent touchdown and smoothly adjusting the pitch to the proper touchdown attitude."

"…When a bounce is severe, the safest procedure is to execute a go-around immediately. Do not attempt to salvage the landing. Apply full power while simultaneously maintaining directional control and lowering the nose to a safe climb attitude. The go-around procedure should be continued even though the airplane may descend and another bounce may be encountered. It is extremely foolish to attempt a landing from a bad bounce since airspeed diminishes very rapidly in the nose-high attitude, and a stall may occur before a subsequent touchdown could be made."

History of Flight

Abnormal runway contact (Defining event)

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 67, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/10/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/25/2017
Flight Time:  1565 hours (Total, all aircraft), 71 hours (Total, this make and model), 1463 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 6 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N243CC
Model/Series: SNJ-4
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 88-13243
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/16/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 5265 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 14658.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: R1340 AN-1
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power: 600 hp
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: MFD, 1297 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1207 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 145°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 2400 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3100 ft agl
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 300°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Akron, OH (AKR)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Ashland, OH (3G4)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1100 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Ashland County Airport (3G4)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1206 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 19
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3501 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 40.900000, 82.260000 (est)


  1. What a waste of a beautiful aircraft.

  2. And this is why the T-6/SN-J was such a good training aircraft to prepare pilots for the fighters and medium bombers they would be handling,thus to to emulate the characteristics of those high performance aircraft under service conditions.
    If the SNJ bounced twice then it was certainly on the point of the stall,opening the throttle gradually and a go around would have been the way to go.
    Destroyed a lovely warbird in the process.

  3. Aircraft is not destroyed. Plenty of these were bent in training and got repaired to return to duty. She's sitting proudly upright waiting for repairing. I see no bent hull or wings here.

  4. Correction: bent left wing but certainly not irreparable.