FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
NTSB Identification: ANC16CA041
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 27, 2016 in Palmer, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2016
Aircraft: PIPER PA18, registration: N4231Z
Injuries: 2 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.
The pilot was landing his tailwheel-equipped airplane on a rough and uneven, gravel covered, off-airport landing site adjacent to a river. Prior to landing, the pilot overflew the landing site multiple times at different altitudes for inspection. During the landing rollout the right wing struck tree branches, which resulted in a ground-loop. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings, empennage and left horizontal stabilizer. The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.
In the recommendation section of the NTSB Accident/Incident Reporting Form 6120.1, the pilot stated that the accident may have been prevented if he would have increased his familiarization of off-airport operations, or selected a more suitable landing site.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for an off-airport landing, which resulted in a collision with trees and a ground-loop.