Following a three-point landing at an airport in Lincoln, California, the pilot receiving tailwheel instruction in the Bellanca 7GCAA raised the tail to initiate a go-around, but the wind shifted from a left quartering headwind to a left quartering tailwind.
The airplane veered left and the pilot added right rudder and aileron to correct. The airplane continued to veer left, departed the runway, and came upon “tall grass and very rough terrain.”
The instructor took the flight controls, aborted the go-around, and the left wing and elevator hit the far side of the “trench.”
The airplane sustained substantial damaged to the left wing and elevator.
The flight instructor reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about five minutes before the accident, the wind was from 240° at 3 knots. The same automated station reported that, about 35 minutes after the accident, the wind was calm. The flight instructor landed the airplane on Runway 15.
Probable Cause: The pilot receiving instruction’s failure to maintain directional control during landing, which resulted in an attempted go-around and collision with a trench, and the flight instructor’s delayed remedial action during the landing.
An experienced Cub pilot not used to front seat in a Bellanca (dual instruction) has a confused visual picture? There also seems to be confusion about who is controlling the plane here? Usually a light tailwind can be overcome (and control restored) by the “wind machine” in front…
This April 2019 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.