Ground loop on landing at North Weald Airfield on 13 April 2016.
The aircraft was landing on the asphalt Runway 20 at North Weald, with the control tower reporting the wind as from 240º at 4 kt with occasional gusts of 15 kt from 290º. The pilot adopted his usual wing down/opposite rudder approach technique and touched down on the mainwheels, performing a ‘wheeler’ landing. He allowed the tail to lower as elevator authority was lost but, after a few seconds in the three-point attitude, a swing to the right developed. He countered this with full left rudder but the swing continued to diverge. The left lower wingtip and aileron contacted the asphalt before the aircraft left the runway and ran briefly onto the grass before encountering a paved taxiway. It completed a 270º groundloop before coming to rest, having also grazed the right wingtip and aileron. The pilot subsequently realised that the left mainwheel had been damaged as it crossed the grass/paved surface interface. He also noted that, on several occasions during the hour following, the windsock was horizontal and perpendicular to the runway indicating occasional crosswind gusts.
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Published: 8 September 2016
Date of occurrence: 13 April 2016