Tailwheel trouble for Champ

Aircraft: Aeronca Champ. Injuries: None. Location: Valparasio, Indiana. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: As the airplane touched down it veered to the right and went off the runway into a ditch. The main landing gear collapsed.

No defects were found with the airplane’s brake system. However, photographic evidence of skid marks showed that the tailwheel experienced shimmy during the landing, which continued to the side of the runway.

The post-accident examination revealed some play in the tailwheel assembly due to wear, which allowed the tailwheel to shimmy during the landing.

Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident was the wear in the tailwheel assembly.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA614

This September 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it isintended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.


    • says

      Right on Stan, I owned a 7AC for five years and never had any real or imagined problems with landings. Know the wind direction, know your aircraft braking system and where it needs maintenance. The comment on “relaxing the stick pressure”, even to the point of using forward stick to remove as much weight as possible invariably helps the loose steering tailwheel. The other option is add power and go around.

  1. Vaughn S. Price says

    I just am amazed at the total lack of ability to use power and rudder for directional control. I dusted a season in Mexicali with a 1928 Parasol Air Transport Meteor with the tailwheel missing and no replacement available, The forks acted like a two pronged skid. how about just being in total control regardless of mechanical deficiencies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *