The pilot was performing an instrument approach to the runway at the airport in Ionia, Michigan, following a local flight. The Cessna 182 was configured with full flaps and the pilot’s intention was to perform a three-point landing. [Editor’s Note: Cessna 182A with tailwheel conversion kit installed.]
The wind was reported as calm, however the pilot reported seeing smoke that indicated there was a light crosswind from the right.
After touching down on the runway the tailwheel began to “shimmy violently,” and the airplane began to drift to the left.
He applied rudder to get the airplane to track “a straight path” and then turned right to correct back to the runway’s centerline. To recorrect to the centerline, he applied full left rudder.
At that point, either the pilot’s “left shoe caught on something and jammed the pedal, or the left rudder pedal [became] stuck in the full left rudder position.”
He couldn’t move the pedal to maintain directional control and the airplane ground looped, causing substantial damage to the right aileron and the right elevator.
A post-accident examination showed no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain directional control during landing. Contributing was the pilot getting his shoe caught in the rudder pedal.
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This May 2020 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.