Inexperienced pilot ground-loops

Aircraft: Cessna 170. Injuries: None. Location: Fairbanks, Alaska. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot was attempting to land the tailwheel-equipped airplane on a gravel airstrip. During the landing roll, the airplane ground-looped to the left and the right wing struck the ground.

The pilot stated that the accident could have been avoided if he had more training and experience in tailwheel-equipped airplanes.

Probable cause:The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience/training in tailwheel-equipped airplanes.

NTSB Identification: ANC11CA104

This September 2011 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.


  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    A real full stall landing with full up elevator to a dead stop is all this pilot needs to know how tokeep from ground looping, the same technique used in nose wheel aircraft would cut landing accidents way down. But there will always be Pilots who are as dumb as the gooney birds on midway island, they make roll on landings too with the same results

  2. Linda S. Berl says

    There are those that have ground-looped, and those that will. But a little training and a lot of practice would mitigate that problem. Taildraggers aren’t difficult to fly, you just have to fly them all the way into the tie-down. I would encourage this pilot to take a few hours of glider instruction…and not be discouraged by the tail-loop.
    The pilot did take all the fun out of our arguments though!

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