This March 2008 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: Maule M-4. Injuries: None. Location: Jerome, Idaho. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The CFI and student pilot were departing runway 26 on an instructional flight in a tailwheel-equipped airplane. The wind was from the 270° at four knots. The student pilot was flying during the takeoff roll. The airplane drifted left of runway centerline. The student pilot corrected, but the plane began to track right of runway center line. The CFI took the flight controls, applied left rudder and brake, but the airplane continued to track to the right. The instructor was unable to keep the airplane on the runway. The airplane hit a large rock adjacent to the runway and the left main landing gear strut collapsed.
Following the accident, the CFI reported that the brakes functioned properly during the preflight, however, appeared to have not been working during the accident sequence. A representative from the FAA examined the airplane and reported that the brakes were damaged and functional testing was not possible.
Probable cause: The failure of both pilots to maintain directional control of the airplane during takeoff.
For more information: NTSB.gov