Landing gear hits runway sign

This March 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Citabria.
Location: Oliver Springs, Tenn.
Injuries: 1 Minor.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was practicing landings. On his fifth approach he realized that the airplane was high, and performed a slip to lose altitude. The airplane descended more rapidly than he intended and, as he pulled out of the slip, he realized he was too low and would touch down short of the runway.

The pilot added power to arrest the descent but was not quick enough to keep the right main landing gear from hitting a runway marker sign. The airplane veered off the right side of the runway and into a ditch. The impact tore the right main landing gear from the fuselage and buckled the airplane’s firewall and fuselage.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate terrain clearance, resulting in an in-flight collision with an airport sign.

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