Aircraft: Aeronca Champ. Injuries: None. Location: Valparasio, Indiana. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: As the airplane touched down it veered to the right and went off the runway into a ditch. The main landing gear collapsed.
No defects were found with the airplane’s brake system. However, photographic evidence of skid marks showed that the tailwheel experienced shimmy during the landing, which continued to the side of the runway.
The post-accident examination revealed some play in the tailwheel assembly due to wear, which allowed the tailwheel to shimmy during the landing.
Probable cause: The pilot’s loss of directional control during landing. Contributing to the accident was the wear in the tailwheel assembly.
NTSB Identification: CEN11LA614
This September 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it isintended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.