Pilot hits the brakes and flips the aircraft

General Aviation News will often reprint summaries of accident reports from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), including one from June 2010 that involved a Boeing B75N1 in Arlington (Virginia) and led to substantial aircraft damage.

Apparently, a 875-hour pilot was flying lead in a formation and as entered the flare to land at an airspeed of about 70 mph, he intended to keep the aircraft’s tail in the air and then roll farther down the runway. This would allow more room for the rest of the aircraft in the formation.

However and when the wheels touched the runway, the pilot inadvertently applied the wheel brakes. Since the aircraft had a high center of gravity, applying the brakes while touching down at a high speed caused it to flip over. After the incident, the pilot stated that he had seldom used the brakes in the Stearman. Hence, he was not familiar with the feel along with the effectiveness of the wheel brakes.

In other words, its probably a good idea to first go up in an unfamiliar aircraft with an instructor as well as to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the nuances of an aircraft you are not familiar with in order to avoid having an incident much worst than just damaging an aircraft.