Saturday, February 17, 2018

Piper PA-22-108, N4805Z: Accident occurred December 18, 2017 at Yentna Bend Strip (0AK2), Willow, Alaska

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Yentna, AK
Accident Number: GAA18CA090
Date & Time: 12/18/2017, 1300 AKS
Registration: N4805Z
Aircraft: PIPER PA22
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane reported that, while landing on an unimproved snow-covered airstrip, the left main tire dug into snow and the airplane veered left. Subsequently, the airplane sank in the softer snow off the left side of the airstrip and nosed over.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for landing, which resulted in a loss of directional control and subsequent nose-over. 


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Snowy/icy terrain - Decision related to condition (Cause)
Soft surface - Effect on operation
Snowy/icy terrain - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Nose over/nose down

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 27, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Lap Only
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/06/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/28/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 87 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2 hours (Total, this make and model), 60 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N4805Z
Model/Series: PA22 108
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1961
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 22-8372
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/08/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1650 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1583.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-235 SERIES
Registered Owner: Benjamin Harper
Rated Power: 108 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PATK, 356 ft msl
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 39 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 24°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: -18°C / -21°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.18 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: PALMER, AK (PAQ)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Yentna, AK (0AK2)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1200 AKS
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Dirt; Gravel; Snow
Airport Elevation: 81 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Rough; Snow; Soft
Runway Used: 3
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 1500 ft / 50 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop; Traffic Pattern 

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:  61.731389, -150.672222 (est)

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