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N3679T accident description

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Crash location 42.328056°N, 72.611389°W
Nearest city Northampton, MA
42.325090°N, 72.641201°W
1.5 miles away
Tail number N3679T
Accident date 19 Mar 2005
Aircraft type Taylorcraft F19
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On March 19, 2005, about 1400 eastern standard time, a Taylorcraft F19, N3679T, was substantially damaged during a landing rollout at Northampton Airport (7B2), Northampton, Massachusetts. The certificated private pilot/owner, and certificated commercial pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, and during a telephone interview, the commercial pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was for him to familiarize the private pilot with the operation of the tailwheel-equipped airplane. While in the airport traffic pattern, the commercial pilot performed two landings, and the private pilot performed three. The private pilot was at the flight controls when the accident occurred.

In a written statement, and during a telephone interview, the private pilot stated that during the landing rollout, he was turning the airplane in order to exit the runway on a particular taxiway. At the start of the turn he felt pressure on the rudder pedals; however, as the turn progressed, he felt no rudder pressure and could not straighten the airplane. The tail of the airplane continued to turn and impacted a snow bank.

Both the private pilot and the commercial pilot stated that the tailwheel springs became disconnected from the rudder horn.

The private pilot stated that during a previous flight in the accident airplane, with a flight instructor, the tailwheel springs had become disconnected, and the airplane departed the runway during the landing rollout. The airplane did not sustain any damage, and neither he nor the instructor received any injuries during the runway excursion. He could not recall how the tail springs became disconnected during either flight, and also stated that the airplane performed similarly during both landings.

During a telephone interview, the flight instructor from the previous flight stated that he had told the pilot that he would not fly in the accident airplane again until the pilot had addressed the problem with the tailwheel springs.

Following the accident flight, the pilot elected to replace the entire tailwheel assembly.

The weather reported at Westover Metropolitan Airport (CEF), Springfield, Massachusetts, located about 9 nautical miles southeast, at 1355, included winds from 250 degrees at 8 knots. The report also contained the remark WND DATA ESTMD.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot/owner's improper decision to conduct the flight with a known deficiency in equipment, which resulted in a loss of control when the tailwheel springs became disconnected. Factors were the disconnection of the tailwheel springs, the snow bank, and operataion with known deficiencies in equipment.

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