Control lost on landing

This June 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: Boeing Stearman.
Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Injuries: None.
Aircraft damage: Minor.

What reportedly happened: The pilot listened to the automated weather observation system two or three times as he approached the airport. The AWOS reported winds from 140° at 7 knots. The pilot flew a straight-in approach for runway 5 and landed tail low in the crosswind. As the airplane touched down, the right wing was lifted by the wind and the airplane started to swerve. The pilot did not have enough rudder authority to regain directional control and the airplane ground looped. The left wing hit the ground, and the plane went off the runway into the grass.

Probable cause: The failure to maintain directional control during landing.

For more information: NTSB.gov/ntsb/brief2.asp?ev_id=20070723X00997&ntsbno=SEA07CA169&akey=1

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