According to the owner of the Van’s RV-6A, a flight instructor was providing transition training to him after he had recently purchased the airplane.
The owner and flight instructor flew from where the airplane was based, an airport in O’Brien, Florida, with a turf runway that was 2,400 feet long and 100 feet wide, to a nearby airport with a paved runway and performed several practice takeoffs and landings. They then returned to the departure airport, and the flight instructor was demonstrating a landing to the turf runway for the airplane owner.
The flight instructor described that he landed the airplane about 850 feet beyond the runway threshold, and that it rolled an additional 650 feet before the nosewheel touched down. Within 40 feet of the nosewheel touching the runway, the airplane suddenly nosed over.
The airplane’s vertical stabilizer was substantially damaged. The flight instructor sustained minor injuries in the crash, while the owner was seriously injured.
The owner, and another witness to the accident, both described that following the accident they observed two ground scars on the runway that were 14 and 21 feet in length, that reached a depth of 5 inches and 12 inches. The second 12-inch-deep scar ended just before the airplane nosed over and came to rest.
Given this information, it is likely that the flight instructor’s improper soft-field landing technique resulted in excessive weight being placed on the nose landing gear during the landing, resulting in the nosewheel digging into the turf runway, and ultimately resulting in the nose over during the landing.
Probable Cause: The flight instructor’s improper soft field landing technique while landing on a turf runway, which resulted in a nose over.
To download the final report. Click here. This will trigger a PDF download to your device.
This January 2021 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.
Greg Niehues says
I’ve seen this before with pilots holding the nosewheel off the ground as long as humanly possible – but they hold it too high up, and when the elevator authority finally runs out they “plop” the nosewheel down with considerable force, which is the last thing you want to do on a soft runway.
Fascinating reading of the owner and CFI statements to the NTSB. It’s pretty clear the owner sees the CFI as a screw up at every turn, while painting himself as a flawless pilot. Makes me wonder why he continued flying with this guy after the first couple of bad landings and this guy mishandling the plane both in the air and on the ground. A RV-6 is a pretty easy plane to fly. Adding a training wheel makes is super easy… until you pound the nose on and end up on your back.
Marc L says
I actually read the entire PDF report and looked at the pics. The CFI seemed to be very fast on each landing and bounced each one. i would have called it a day after that. I believe the CFI only had 30 minutes in the AC if i read it right. I would suggest reading the statement from the owner.
Mark Scardino says
Wow. I should have read that before posting. CFI definitely not in command of the plane. Owner actually did a normal landing.
Mark Scardino says
Almost sounds like the runway was very soft and perhaps the CFI applied brake pressure excessively to dig into the runway like that. Weird that the nose wheel caused the plane to flip if the CFI was holding full aft on the elevators Wondering if the nose wheel hit a hole or a very soft area of the runway. I’m also thinking the runway may have been soft from being wet, perhaps it hadn’t dried completely from rain.