This November 2007 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.
Aircraft: Vans RV-8; Location: Latrobe, Pa.; Injuries: 1 Serious; Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: On his third landing of the day, the pilot of an amateur-built Vans RV-8 touched down, in a tail-low attitude, near the displaced runway threshold. The airplane began to fishtail, so the pilot applied power to do a go-around. The airplane lifted off and reached an altitude of 50 feet, then rolled and turned left before it overflew the left edge of the runway and parallel taxiway, while continuing to turn past a heading perpendicular to the runway centerline. The airplane continued the left turn, in an approximate 30° bank, and began to descend toward a low wetland adjacent to the runway. The aircraft hit the ground left wingtip first.
The left wing and left main gear ripped off the airframe. The airplane then cartwheeled, coming to rest upright on the right main landing gear and forward fuselage.
This was the pilot’s second incident in an RV-8. About a year before the accident, in a different RV-8, the pilot experienced a loss of control while practicing landings, during which the airplane veered off the left side of the runway and hit a taxiway light.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing.
For more information: NTSB.gov