Aircraft: RV-8. Injuries: None. Location: Livermore, Calif. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot of the experimental, amateur-built, tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that he performed a straight-in approach and subsequent landing with a gusting crosswind.
As the airplane slowed, and the tail dropped, he applied full aft elevator control input. He applied brakes and then initiated a turn onto the taxiway.
He stated that during the turn a gust of wind caught the right wing, tipping the airplane onto the left wing and causing the left aileron hinge to scrape on the runway. The airplane then bounced two times on the left main landing gear. The airplane came to a stop.
The post-accident examination revealed that the left landing gear mounting box and the adjacent fuselage structure was bent and the left wing was buckled. The damage was consistent with the left main landing gear being subjected to an excessive side load.
The pilot stated that the accident could have been prevented by either slowing the airplane down prior to exiting at the chosen taxiway or continuing to the next available taxiway.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to exit the runway while still traveling at an excessive speed and his subsequent loss of directional control.
NTSB Identification: WPR11LA216
This May 2011 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.