The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped biplane reported that during the takeoff sequence of a touch-and-go landing he decided to try a 2-point takeoff.
He said he was aware of the left turning tendency of the Baby Lakes when raising the tail, however the “left turning factor happened much faster than anticipated.”
He was unable to recover with full right rudder inputs and the biplane veered to the left off the runway at the airport in Hurricane, Utah.
During the runway excursion, the pilot brought the throttle to idle and the biplane hit tumbleweeds. The biplane sustained substantial damage to both right wings.
The FAA’s Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3B (2016), contains a section titled “Normal Takeoff Roll” for tailwheel airplanes that states:
It is important to note that nose-down pitch movement produces left yaw, the result of gyroscopic precession created by the propeller. The amount of force created by this precession is directly related to the rate the propeller axis is tilted when the tail is raised, so it is best to avoid an abrupt pitch change. Whether smooth or abrupt, the need to react to this yaw with rudder inputs emphasizes the increased directional demands common to tailwheel airplanes, a demand likely to be unanticipated by pilots transitioning from nosewheel models.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff, which resulted in a runway excursion.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA073
This November 2016 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.