According to the pilot, he was landing at the airport in Modena, N.Y., after a local flight. A passenger was in the rear seat of the tailwheel-equipped Dakota S18-160.
During touchdown the airplane started to nose over, and the pilot realized that the passenger had his feet on the brakes.
He yelled at the passenger to get his feet off the brakes, but it was too late to prevent the airplane from nosing over.
The airplane flipped over inverted and came to a complete stop.
Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the vertical stabilizer was buckled.
Probable Cause: The passenger’s inadvertent application of the rear brakes during landing, which resulted in a nose-over.
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This August 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.