Pitts S-1S Special, G-BOXH
On touching down on Asphalt Runway 28, the aircraft experienced violent tailwheel shimmy and, after about 100 m of ground roll, it veered to the left. The pilot applied full right rudder but this had no effect and the aircraft left the runway, heading towards a fence some 25-30 m from the edge of the paved surface. He applied full power and right rudder and the aircraft seemed to respond but the left lower wing struck a fence post, yawing it in towards the fence. The propeller and cowling struck the fence followed by the right lower wing as the aircraft reversed direction and came to a halt. After checking with the control tower that he had been seen, the pilot switched off fuel and electrical power and exited the aircraft.
Upon inspection, it was found that the right-hand tailwheel steering link had broken, leaving the spring on the left side to pull the wheel in that direction. The pilot believes that a combination of wear and shimmy had caused the link to fracture.
Published 10 December 2014