Aircraft: Aerotek Pitts S-1T. Injuries: None. Location: Billings, Mont. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot was returning to his home airport. During the first landing attempt he lost control of the airplane during the landing roll, so he aborted the landing.
On the second landing attempt, he again was not able to maintain directional control and subsequently realized that there was not enough remaining runway for him to successfully abort the landing. The airplane went off the runway, nosed over, and came to rest on its back.
The post-accident examination revealed that the weld that attached the tailwheel tube to the fuselage had separated. This would have allowed for the tailwheel assembly to freely move left and right without corresponding rudder input, meaning the pilot would not be able to maintain directional control during the landing roll.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inability to maintain directional control during the landing roll because of the failure of the tailwheel support bracket.
NTSB Identification: WPR13LA063
This December 2012 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.