AAIB investigation to Vans RV-4, G-RVER

During taxi out downwind aircraft tail lifted and propeller struck ground, Bute Airfield, South Lanarkshire, 2 May 2017.


On arrival at Bute there was no wind and the aircraft was parked facing west. Approximately an hour and a half later the pilot returned and, after the normal pre-flight checks, started up. During start-up the control column was held fully aft, which is normal. In order to taxi forward, while still holding the control column aft, the pilot applied some power along with right rudder and brake to initiate a turn. At this point the tail rose and, although the right brake was released, the tail continued to rise until the propeller struck the ground and stopped the engine after approximately 4-5 full revolutions. After shutting down the pilot realised the wind had picked up and was from the east, at approximately 12 kt. There was therefore a tailwind affecting the taxi out and he reported that it would have been more appropriate to hold the control column neutral or slightly forward.

A subsequent examination of the aircraft showed damage to the outer four inches of both propeller blades, and the tailwheel spring retaining bolt hole was elongated with the retaining bolt bent.

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Vans RV-4, G-RVER 10-17

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Glossary of abbreviations

Published 12 October 2017