Low-time pilot ground loops C180

Aircraft: Cessna 180. Injuries: None. Location: Conroe, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The flight instructor, who occupied the right seat, allowed the private pilot to practice landings in the tailwheel airplane.

During the second landing, the plane veered sharply off the runway centerline. The flight instructor took over the controls but was unable to regain directional control of the airplane and it ground looped.

Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing. Contributing to the accident was the flight instructor’s delayed intervention and the pilot’s lack of experience in tailwheel airplanes.

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA168

This February 2012 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. Tom says

    Give me a trike most any old time,
    Forget the tail wheel draggers,
    Those rascal spin around on a dime,
    When you aren’t quick to apply the rudders.

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