The pilot of the Stearman B75N1 (N75577) reported that upon touch down at the airport in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the passenger in the front seat of the tandem cockpit airplane “mistakenly applied full braking” and the airplane nosed over.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The passenger’s inadvertent brake application during landing, which resulted in a nose-over.
The NTSB report indicates this pilot is not rated SEL and a CFI only for twins. Familiarity with this operation is in question. Also a full passenger briefing (and supervision) might have prevented this outcome. Personally verify “no brakes” on every dual tandem tailwheel landing; you can’t fix this issue from the other seat!
This May 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.