NTSB Identification: GAA16CA252
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Nikolai Creek, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA 20, registration: N5589H
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
According to the pilot of the tailwheel landing gear-equipped airplane, he took off from grassy, wet, down sloping terrain. He recalled that he walked the area of intended takeoff and found no obstacles that would prevented a safe takeoff. However, he reported that during the takeoff roll, he kept the airplane tailwheel off of the ground, while rolling down slope, and the airplane main landing gear wheels rolled over a patch of mud creating a pivot point, and the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the vertical stabilizer, rudder, and wing struts.
The pilot reported that there were not any mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with any portion of the airplane, prior to the takeoff roll that would have precluded normal flight operations.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's selection of an unsuitable takeoff area resulting in an airplane nose over during the takeoff roll.