Sunday, September 8, 2019

Luscombe 8A, N25100: Accidents occurred August 30, 2019 and October 24, 2015 at Ernest A. Love Field Airport (KPRC), Prescott, Yavapai County, Arizona

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale

NTSB Identification: GAA19CA568
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 30, 2019 in Prescott, AZ
Aircraft: Luscombe 8, registration: N25100

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft ground looped on landing.  

Date: 30-AUG-19

Time: 19:52:00Z
Regis#: N25100
Aircraft Make: LUSCOMBE
Aircraft Model: 8A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Prescott, AZ
Accident Number: WPR16LA017
Date & Time: 10/24/2015, 1510 MST
Registration: N25100
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Runway excursion
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The commercial pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane stated that, upon touching down in a three-point attitude, the airplane veered left. The pilot attempted to correct with rudder, but the airplane continued left and ground looped. Examination revealed that the tailwheel had rotated 180°, leaving its control chains crossed over one another. Under this condition, the tailwheel direction of movement would be opposite that commanded by the pilot. Further examination revealed that the tailwheel steering arms were bent upward, allowing the wheel to rotate past its travel stops and into the reversed condition. It is likely that, as the pilot initially lost control and the airplane began to ground loop, the wheel passed beyond its travel limits, causing the controls to become reversed, which made recovery unlikely.

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, and his inability to recover due to a malfunction of the tailwheel.


Nose/tail landing gear - Malfunction (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

On October 24, 2015, about 1510 mountain standard time, a Luscombe 8A, N25100, experienced a loss of directional control during the landing roll, and ground looped at the Ernest A. Love Field Airport, Prescott, Arizona. The pilot, who owned the airplane, was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The certified flight instructor and his passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal cross-country flight departed from Gallup Municipal Airport, Gallup, New Mexico, about 1245 with a planned destination of Prescott. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan had been filed.

In a written report, the pilot stated that as he entered the vicinity of the destination airport, he maneuvered the airplane for a straight-in approach to runway 21L. The approach was slightly higher than his normal glide slope, and the pilot configured the airplane into a left slip in an effort to lose altitude. After becoming established, he maintained a left crab angle to compensate for an approximate 7 kt left crosswind. He configured the airplane for a three-point landing and touched down on the centerline. The airplane continued the landing roll until decelerating to about 15 mph at which point it began to veer to the left. The pilot input full rudder control to try to counteract the veer, but despite his attempts, the airplane ground looped.

During the accident sequence, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the wing. The pilot opined that the loss of control was precipitated by a tail wheel malfunction. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot purchased the airplane on the day of the accident; he reported having amassed about 200 hours of flight time in the same make and model.

The Luscombe 8A was equipped with a Scott 3-24B tailwheel (now Scott 2000), with a steerable six-inch rubber tire with full-swivel capability. The rudder control horns were connected via chains to the assembly, which uses spring pressure to hold a set of steering arms into machined flats on the wheel fork. As the wheel pivots to its travel limit, it comes into contact with a stop on the fork bracket, which releases the assembly, allowing the wheel to castor freely. According to the Scott 3-24B Handbook, "The tail wheel assemblies provide directional control throughout full rudder travel of the aircraft while the tailwheel is in contact with the ground. The assemblies will automatically full-swivel only well after the maximum point of air rudder control is reached in either direction…The tailwheel steering and release mechanism is so designed that 65-degrees of tailwheel turn (or travel) is provided either right or left from neutral steering position before the mechanism begins to release."

The airplane came to rest on the edge of the runway with the right landing gear collapsed and folded under the fuselage. The tailwheel steering chains remained affixed to their respective rudder horns as well as their respective steering arms mounted on the tailwheel body. However, the tailwheel had rotated over 180-degrees and was canted to the left leaving the chains crossed over one another. Additionally, the steering arms appeared bent upwards. A complete report with accompanying photographs are attached to the public docket for this accident.

An FAA certified airframe and powerplant mechanic examined the tailwheel. He stated the examination revealed that the tailwheel was turned around 180-degrees from its normal configuration. The right steering arm was bent upwards, and he observed that it was able to clear over the stop, allowing the steering head to continue to the reversed position, rather than unlock to caster freely. Under this condition, the tailwheel direction of movement would be opposite that commanded by the pilot, rather than free-castering as designed. He additionally noted that the leaf spring assembly was loose, allowing a possible shudder to develop. Following the examination, he repaired the assembly, and the steering arms were reconfigured to their correct straight position, enabling them to contact the stops and release the wheel to freely caster with the steering chains remaining on their respective side. 

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Runway excursion (Defining event) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial
Age: 72, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine; Instrument Airplane
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/16/2015
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 11000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 200 hours (Total, this make and model), 10800 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 11.9 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11.9 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: LUSCOMBE
Registration: N25100
Model/Series: 8A A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1939
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport; Normal
Serial Number: 1024
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/04/2014, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1260 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: C85-12F
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 85 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: KPRC, 5052 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 209°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.13 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gallup, NM (KGUP)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: Company VFR
Destination: Prescott, AZ (KPRC)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1245 MST
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Ernest A Love Field Airport (KPRC)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5044 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 21L
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 7619 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in

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: 34.654722, -112.419167 (est)

No comments: