Friday, September 8, 2017

Piper PA-12, N4088M, Alberts Air Alaska LLC: Accident occurred September 06, 2017 in Kotzebue, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Location: Kotzebue, AK
Accident Number: GAA17CA527
Date & Time: 09/06/2017, 1130 AKD
Registration: N4088M
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter - Non-scheduled

Analysis 

The pilot reported that, while landing uphill on an unimproved gravel airstrip, the tailwheel-equipped airplane landed "smooth." He added that, while taxiing to the crest of the hill, a wind gust forced the airplane to become airborne. The airplane then drifted to the left, and he attempted to correct with full right aileron and maximum power. The airplane continued to bank left until "the wind forced the tail in a counter clockwise motion," which resulted in the airplane landing on the right main landing gear (MLG). Subsequently, the right MLG collapsed, and the right wing and right horizontal stabilizer struck the ground.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut and the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported the weather at the time of the accident to be wind from 360° at 20 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The pilot landed on about a 360° heading. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control while landing on an unimproved airstrip in gusting wind conditions.

Findings

Aircraft
Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation 

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery
Landing gear collapse
Dragged wing/rotor/float/other 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 29, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/28/2017
Occupational Pilot: Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/13/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 696.8 hours (Total, all aircraft), 282 hours (Total, this make and model), 583.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 202 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 103 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 7.9 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N4088M
Model/Series: PA 12 NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 12-3003S
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/30/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1935 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4900.7 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360
Registered Owner: Byran Albert
Rated Power: 180 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: On-demand Air Taxi (135)

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAIK, 168 ft msl
Observation Time: 1956 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 22 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 176°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 3°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4900 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots, 130°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.37 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: KOTZEBUE, AK (OTZ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Kotzebue, AK
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0930 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 67.353056, -160.493889 (est)

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fairbanks, Alaska

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms
  
Alberts Air Alaska LLC: http://registry.faa.gov/N4088M

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA527
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 06, 2017 in Kotzebue, AK
Aircraft: PIPER PA 12, registration: N4088M
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 reported that, while landing uphill, on an unimproved gravel airstrip, the tailwheel-equipped airplane landed "smooth." He added that, while taxing to the crest of the hill, a gust of wind forced the airplane to become airborne. The airplane then drifted to the left and he attempted to correct with full right aileron and maximum power. The airplane continued to bank left until "the wind forced the tail in a counter clockwise motion", which resulted in the airplane landing on the right main landing gear. Subsequently, the right main landing gear collapsed; and the right wing and right horizontal stabilizer struck the ground.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing lift strut and the right horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The pilot reported the weather at the time of the accident to be, wind from 360° at 20 knots, gusting to 25 knots. The pilot landed on about a 360° heading.

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