This February 2009 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: Thorp T-18-C. Injuries: None. Location: Palm Springs, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane touched down for a full-stop landing. The airplane started veering to the left. The pilot applied rudder, brake and power to correct, but could not regain control. The airplane went off the runway and into a taxiway sign.
The post-accident inspection revealed the tubular steel left gear leg had partially failed along a corroded weld line, and had bent backwards from its normal position. There was corrosion on the gear leg adjacent to the fracture.
Probable cause: A loss of directional control due to the fatigue failure of a tubular steel gear leg along a corroded weld line.
For more information: NTSB.gov