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N2053E accident description

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Crash location 43.283889°N, 70.929167°W
Nearest city Rochester, NH
43.304526°N, 70.975619°W
2.7 miles away
Tail number N2053E
Accident date 11 Dec 2010
Aircraft type Aeronca 7CCM
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On December 11, 2010, about 0800 eastern standard time, an Aeronca 7CCM, N2053E, was substantially damaged following a loss of directional control during landing at Skyhaven Airport (DAW), Rochester, New Hampshire. The airplane was operated by Rochester Aviation. The certificated student pilot and flight instructor were not injured. Day, visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan was filed for the local, instructional flight. The flight originated about 0730 was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

The flight instructor reported the following. During the first three landings on runway 33, with the student pilot at the controls, and in calm winds, the airplane "...snapped a little left." Each time, a correction was made to maintain directional control. On the fourth landing attempt, the airplane snapped left again. The tailwheel lifted momentarily off the runway surface. When the tailwheel came back down, the airplane "shot hard left." Although the flight instructor was able to regain some directional control, the airplane departed the runway surface. The airplane then struck the surface-mounted precision approach path indicator (PAPI) unit and came to a stop.

An inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the accident site and examined the wreckage. The horizontal stabilizer and empennage sustained structural damage from the collision with the PAPI unit. During a flight control continuity check, the control surfaces moved normally. When the tailwheel was examined, the tailwheel unlocked easily when shaken manually.

The student pilot had logged about 2.1 hours of flight time at the time of the accident.

Weather, recorded at DAW at 1252, included winds calm, visibility 10 statute miles, sky overcast at 4,400 feet, temperature -3 degrees C, dew point -9 degrees C, an altimeter setting of 30.21 inches Hg.

NTSB Probable Cause

The out-of-rig condition of the tailwheel lock, which resulted in a loss of directional control on landing.

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