Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Loss of Control on Ground: North American SNJ-6 Texan, N3238G; accident occurred May 08, 2020 at Boerne Stage Field Airport (5C1), Kendall County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: San Antonio, TX
Accident Number: CEN20CA176
Date & Time: 05/08/2020, 1055 CDT
Registration: N3238G
Aircraft: North American SNJ
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 he had just completed a landing in a tailwheel equipped airplane, and he noticed the wind began to shift. He then elected to conduct another wheel landing. The pilot stated he landed on runway 17, on centerline, and that as he lowered the tail, the airplane experienced a strong pull to the right. He was unable to keep the airplane from departing the runway and as he reduced the throttle, the airplane entered a ground loop.

The airplane's right main landing gear collapsed, and the wing and propeller struck the ground. Substantial damage was noted to the right wing. A review of the weather conditions about the time of the accident noted wind at 330° at 3 kts, and 20 minutes later, the wind was reported as 360° at 11 kts with gusts to 17 kts.

The accident is consistent with the pilot's loss of control during landing. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's loss of directional control while landing a tailwheel airplane in gusty wind conditions.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Environmental issues (general) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Loss of control on ground (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial
Age: 46
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane Multi-engine; Airplane Single-engine
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/24/2019
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/22/2019
Flight Time:  4296 hours (Total, all aircraft), 25 hours (Total, this make and model), 5296 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 142 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 63 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: North American
Registration: N3238G
Model/Series: SNJ 6
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 112348
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/01/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time: 706.1 Hours
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Adams Terry D
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: K5C1
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 1615 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 3700 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 17 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Antonio, TX (5C1)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: San Antonio, TX (5C1)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Boerne Stage Field Airport (5C1)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1384 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 17
IFR Approach:None 
Runway Length/Width: 5006 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: 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: 29.723333, -98.694444 (est)

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