The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped RV-4 reported that, during a “taxi test” in crosswind conditions, he overcorrected, and the airplane ground looped.
The airplane left the runway to the right and came to rest nose down, sustaining substantial damage to the firewall.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation system at the airport in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 320° at 5 knots. The pilot was departing from Runway 06.
The FAA inspector reported that, throughout many conversations with the pilot, the initial statement was that he lost control during takeoff and did have intent for flight. The FAA inspector verified this after talking with the local tower, who had cleared the airplane for takeoff.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during takeoff.
NTSB Identification: GAA17CA480
This July 2017 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.