Thursday, November 25, 2021

Loss of Control on Ground: Waco 2T-1A-2, N53GL; accident occurred September 16, 2021 at Battle Creek Executive Airport (KBTL), Calhoun County, Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

PF Flyers Inc

Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
Accident Number: CEN21LA430
Date and Time: September 16, 2021, 15:56 Local
Registration: N53GL
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional


The pilot was receiving additional flight instruction in the tailwheel-equipped airplane. During the landing with a crosswind, the airplane bounced and then settled onto the runway. The airplane veered to the right, so the pilot applied left rudder but overcorrected to the left. The pilot then relinquished the controls to the flight instructor. The flight instructor was unable to regain control and the airplane ground looped. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the lower right wing rear spar and aileron. The pilot and flight instructor both reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies 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 of the tailwheel equipped airplane during a crosswind landing and the flight instructor’s inadequate remedial action. 


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Instructor/check pilot
Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Attempted remediation/recovery

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial 
Age: 40, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: May 26, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: October 31, 2020
Flight Time: 490.6 hours (Total, all aircraft), 12.2 hours (Total, this make and model), 408.5 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 65.7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Flight instructor Information

Certificate: Commercial; Flight instructor 
Age: Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land; Single-engine sea; Multi-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): Airplane multi-engine; Airplane single-engine; Instrument airplane
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 1 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 15, 2021
Occupational Pilot: Yes 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 7, 2020
Flight Time: 1952 hours (Total, all aircraft), 181 hours (Total, this make and model), 1866 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 114 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 57 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N53GL
Model/Series: 2T-1A-2 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2015 
Amateur Built:
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: 1206
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 14, 2021 
Annual Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1800 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 10.5 Hrs
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 161.2 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, not activated 
Engine Model/Series: AEIO-360-B1G6
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 180 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBTL,939 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Direction from Accident Site: 33°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 200° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.11 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 11°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Battle Creek, MI
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Battle Creek, MI 
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 
Type of Airspace: Class D

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 951 ft msl
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05L/23R
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 10004 ft / 150 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and go; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 42.307638,-85.251317 (est)

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