Pilot Increased Engine Power, But The Airplane Continued Drifting Left

Location: Aitkin, MN Accident Number: CEN20CA225
Date & Time: 06/09/2020, 1210 CDT Registration: N2681D
Aircraft: Cessna 170 Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Instructional

The flight instructor stated that he and his student made a straight-in landing approach to runway 8 with a 6-7 knot crosswind from the south because they preferred to land the tailwheel-equipped airplane on the grass runway instead of the available hard-surface runway 16. The student intended to make a full-stall landing with the wing flaps extended 20°. The student pilot crabbed the airplane into the right crosswind during final approach, and before the landing flare transitioned into a sideslip with the right wing down and left rudder to keep the airplane aligned with the runway direction. The flight instructor stated that upon touchdown there was a wind gust, which caused the  airplane to bounce and drift left over the runway. The flight instructor told the student pilot to add engine power to abort the landing.

The student pilot increased engine power, but the airplane continued drifting left over the runway. The airplane bounced a second time, at which time the flight instructor took control of the airplane. The flight instructor stated that the airplane was “skimming the grass” and was “behind the power curve” as he attempted to regain control of the airplane and establish a climb. The airplane impacted the airport perimeter fence about 70 yards left of the runway edge. An engine mount support tube and both wings were substantially damaged during the accident. The flight instructor reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He additionally stated that the engine responded to full power when the student pilot advanced the throttle after the first bounced landing. A postaccident examination confirmed flight control continuity at the accident site.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov