Inexperience, sensitive brakes bad combo

Aircraft: Fairchild 24 C8C. Injuries: None. Location: Redmond, Ore. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot received his tailwheel endorsement in another airplane make. His total flight time in the Fairchild was about one hour.

The pilot told investigators that he had difficulty controlling the airplane with the rudder and the brakes. He stated that, at times, the brakes grabbed and the airplane moved erratically, but he believed that he was improving.

The pilot-rated passenger, who accompanied the pilot on the accident flight, noted that he had warned the pilot that the airplane had sensitive brakes.

During the accident landing roll, the pilot applied improper rudder/brake pressure and the airplane nosed over.

Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of airplane control as a result of excessive brake application. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s lack of experience in the airplane.

NTSB Identification: WPR12CA158 


  1. Greg W says

    Glad there were no injuries other than to the airplane. Two basic rules for tailwheels, #1 hold the stick back no matter what, #2 (this counts for trikes as well), STAY OFF THE BRAKES!!, the brakes are for taxi control in a light plane. If you need to drag a brake at take-off or landing you are on the wrong runway/heading for the wind. Remember to use that runway width to cut the crosswind component. You do not need to be on the center line, you need to control the airplane, angle into the wind that’s why the runways are so wide.

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