Aircraft: North American AT-6. Injuries: None. Location: Delmar, Del. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was delivering the recently-sold vintage military trainer. He first landed at a paved airport near the new owner’s farm. The new owner then asked the pilot to fly the airplane to a dirt airstrip on the farm.
He went to the 1,380-foot airstrip with the new owner, determined that it was acceptable for landing, and later returned with the airplane.
During the landing flare, the airplane floated due to, what the pilot later surmised, convective currents from the hot soil.
The airplane touched down long and overran the end of the 1,380-foot airstrip. It encountered a soft spot in the adjoining field and nosed over.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to go-around after not attaining the proper touchdown point, which resulted in a runway excursion and noseover.
NTSB Identification: ERA12CA393
This June 2012 accident report is are provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.