During an instructional flight in the tailwheel airplane, the student pilot and flight instructor planned to stay in the traffic pattern at the airport in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for touch and go landing practice.
During the landing rollout, the Piper PA-18 started drifting to the left side of the runway.
The student pilot applied a hard correction to the right with the rudder pedals and the airplane ground looped, stopping 180° from the landing direction.
The flight instructor stated that he called for “my aircraft” when the student pilot made the hard correction, but the student did not get off the rudder pedals.
Both the student pilot and flight instructor suspected that inadvertent brake application may have been applied in the heel brake equipped airplane.
The flight instructor added that he did not observe any preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the airplane and the winds were light during the time of the accident.
Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the left wing.
Probable cause: The student pilot’s failure to maintain directional control while landing and the flight instructor’s delayed remedial action, which resulted in a ground-loop and the left wing dragging the runway.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA148
This March 2015 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.