Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Piper PA-18, N5773D: Accident occurred September 18, 2016 in McGrath, Alaska


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03

NTSB Identification: ANC16CA066
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 18, 2016 in McGrath, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18, registration: N5773D
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.

The pilot had landed his tailwheel-equipped airplane on a rough and uneven, soft, off-airport landing site in gusty wind conditions. He reported that he had landed at the same spot the previous day, but at a higher gross weight. While back taxiing the airplane became stuck, he applied near full power and the airplane began to roll. In an effort to avoid becoming stuck again, he chose to taxi at a higher than normal speed and power setting. He stated that the airplane began to accelerate and in an effort to slow down, he applied the main wheel brakes while simultaneously hitting a large tussock. The airplane nosed over sustaining substantial damage to the rudder and vertical stabilizer. The pilot stated that there were no preaccident mechanical anomalies 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 had shut down the airplane and walked the landing zone prior to taxi to look for hazards, or if he had a better understanding of how gross weight affects airplane control while on the ground.

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