The pilot reported that, while en route, he applied left rudder to stay coordinated and that he alternated his left and right legs due to muscle fatigue. He added that, during landing at the destination airport, the approach was stabilized and “felt normal” with the flaps set at 100%. During the landing flare, he used “very little rudder” to maintain centerline, and about 1 to 2 ft above the ground, the airplane suddenly yawed left about 30° to 45°. He added that there was not enough right rudder to maintain the airplane parallel with the runway, so he decided to go around. He applied power, and the airplane then yawed violently left and impacted the ground, exited the runway to the left, and came to rest in the grass left of a parallel taxiway.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
The owner provided flight data from the accident flight. Examination of the data revealed that, within 25 seconds of the accident, the airplane descended from 782 to 619 ft mean sea level (msl) with the descent rate peaking around 1,019 ft per minute and the indicated airspeed decreasing from 86 to 60 knots. About 2 seconds before the accident, the pitch attitude peaked at 7° with a left roll of 16°. The airport elevation was about 638 ft msl.
The airplane was also equipped with a crash-hardened recoverable data module (RDM). Examination of the data recovered from the RDM revealed that the airplane veered left, the power and pitch were momentarily increased, and the stall warning horn was on.
The airplane manufacturer’s recommended landing approach speed with flaps set to 100% was 80 to 85 knots. The aerodynamic stall speed at maximum gross weight was about 60 knots.
The pilot reported that the wind was light and variable and not gusting. The RDM data revealed that the wind was from 359° at 5 knots. The pilot was landing the airplane on runway 19L.
The Federal Aviation Administration inspector reported that he examined the airplane and verified rudder control continuity and noted that “everything was intact.”
Probable cause(s): The pilot’s failure to maintain a stabilized approach with a tailwind and his subsequent failure to maintain yaw control during an attempted go-around.
NOTE: The report republished here is from the NTSB and is printed verbatim and in its complete form.