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Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Anchorage FSDO-03
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, November 06, 2016 in Mouth of The Big Susitna River, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA18, registration: N62744
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 of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that during takeoff from a tidal flat, a strong quartering tailwind gust “hit the tail” and he corrected with rudder. The pilot further reported that as soon as the airplane became airborne another strong quartering tailwind gust pushed the airplane inline to impact a driftwood tree that was lying on the tidal flat. The airplane proceeded to strike and bounce off of the driftwood tree and then descended toward a water channel. The pilot reported that he “did not know exactly what happened”, other than the airplane touched down on the other side of the water channel and the main landing gear collapsed. Subsequently, the left wingtip hit the ground and the airplane slid to a stop backwards.
The pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s decision to take off with a gusting quartering tailwind and his subsequent loss of airplane control.