Loss of control on landing

This June 2010 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: American Champion Aircraft 7GCBC. Injuries: None. Location: Arcola, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The student pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings under the supervision of an instructor from the ground.

According to the CFI, the first two landings and takeoffs were fine. On the third approach, the airplane appeared to be high and slow. The instructor used a radio to tell the student to initiate a go-around. The student pilot complied.

When the student was subsequently downwind, the CFI instructed him to make a full-stop landing. During the landing roll, the student pilot retracted the wing flaps and added engine power as if to takeoff. The flight instructor reminded the student that this was to be a full-stop landing. The student then reduced engine power. However, he also released back pressure on the control stick. As the rudder lost its effectiveness, he lost directional control and the airplane exited the side of the runway. The airplane went into a ditch and nosed over, resulting in structural damage to both wings.

An examination of the airplane following the accident revealed no pre-impact anomalies with the airplane’s flight control system.

Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain directional control of the tailwheel-equipped airplane during the landing roll.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10CA328


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