The pilot receiving instruction in the tailwheel-equipped Kitfox reported that he taxied to a runway at the airport in Carson City, Nevada, for takeoff and then realized that the wind favored the opposite runway.
He taxied to the opposite runway, performed a run-up, and discussed the takeoff and traffic pattern procedures with the flight instructor.
After takeoff and completing a circuit in the pattern, while on final approach in gusting wind conditions, the flight instructor took the controls to correct the airplane’s alignment with the runway.
The pilot receiving instruction added that the flight instructor corrected the alignment and landed the airplane. After landing, a wind gust pushed the airplane to the right, and it departed the runway and hit sagebrush.
The flight instructor reported that, before the flight, he told the pilot receiving instruction that it was “not a flying day” and suggested practicing wind correction during taxi. He added that they decided to taxi down the runway to the first turnoff, but the pilot receiving instruction applied takeoff power but said he did not know why.
He added that the airplane became airborne and that he took control during final, landing, and the landing roll but was not able to maintain directional control. He applied full power to go around but “chose to wheel land in the small sagebrush” instead.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot receiving instruction reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation station on the airport reported that, about five minutes before the accident, the wind was from 210° at 9 knots, gusting to 26 knots. The airplane landed on runway 27.
Probable cause: The flight instructor’s failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll and lateral control during the go-around in gusting crosswind conditions. Contributing to the accident was the lack of communication between the flight instructor and the pilot receiving instruction.
NTSB Identification: GAA18CA123
This February 2018 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.