Piper PA-22-160 Tri-Pacer, G-BTLM
The pilot was flying G-BTLM with its owner, with a view to purchasing the aircraft. The intention had been to use the grass runway at the airfield because of the greater controllability of tail wheeled aircraft on that surface, but that was not available. The surface wind was from 240º at 10-15 kt and the asphalt Runway 26 was used instead. After some general handling to the west of Tattenhill, the aircraft returned to the airfield for two touch and go landings before a final landing. The pilot reported that the wind had become rather gusty and he believed that trees to the left of the runway were causing some turbulence. The touch and go landings were completed without incident and the final approach was reportedly good, in spite of the gusty wind. However, G-BTLM touched down firmly on the main wheels and bounced. On the next touch down the aircraft veered to the right and the pilot attempted to maintain directional control with rudder and light left wheel braking. With the engine at idle power, the aircraft continued on to the grass to the right of the runway at an angle of 45º, then ground looped to the left, tipping on to its right wing tip in the process. It finally came to a halt on a heading of about 130º. During the ground loop the right wing, the elevator and stern post had been damaged. Neither of the crew was injured and they exited the aircraft normally. The pilot stated candidly that the accident was the result of an inability to maintain directional control on touchdown. Contributory factors were his unfamiliarity with the aircraft, the gusty conditions and operating from an asphalt runway. He concluded that, because of the aircraft’s low takeoff speed, if he had applied full power and gone around as soon as the aircraft had started to veer, the accident could have been prevented.
Piper PA-22-160 Tri-Pacer, G-BTLM 2-06.pdf (160.00 kb)
Date of occurrence: 1 November 2005