Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N3797Z: Accident occurred September 25, 2017 in Beluga, Alaska -and- Accident occurred November 14, 2009

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

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

National Transportation Safety Board -Aviation Accident Factual Report 

Location: Beluga, AK
Accident Number: GAA17CA569
Date & Time: 09/25/2017, 1300 AKD
Registration: N3797Z
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Ground collision
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane, he landed on tundra that had an uphill slope.

Prior to touch down, the pilot shut off the engine "in case of a nose over event."

He reported that after the landing roll, when the airplane was completely stopped on level ground, a tailwind gust lifted the tail. The airplane balanced on the nose for about 10 seconds, a second gust pushed the airplane over, and it came to rest inverted.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 49, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
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: 04/24/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/30/2016
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1370 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1240 hours (Total, this make and model), 1330 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 108 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 60 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: PIPER
Registration: N3797Z
Model/Series: PA 18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1960
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-7492
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 3
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/10/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 6684.8 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT:  C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-360-A2A
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 180 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:
Observation Time: 
Distance from Accident Site:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:  Scattered
Temperature/Dew Point: 4°C
Lowest Ceiling: Broken
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Light and Variable/ 15 knots, Variable
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting:
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point:  Anchorage, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Beluga, AK
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1200 AKS
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.176944, -151.152778 (est)

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: ANC10CA008
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 14, 2009 in Anchorage, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N3797Z
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 private pilot was taking off in a tundra tire-equipped airplane from a snow-covered off-airport site, on a Title 14, CFR Part 91 personal flight. He reported that during the takeoff roll the main wheels struck a snowdrift, and the airplane nosed over, resulting in substantial damage to the wings and wing lift struts. The pilot said there were no preaccident mechanical problems with the airplane, and noted in his report to the NTSB that he should not have landed at the off-airport site with a wheel-equipped airplane. The pilot reported that after the accident he manually activated the airplane’s 406 MHz Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT), and within 20 minutes of doing so, he received a cell phone call from the airplane’s owner inquiring about the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot's decision to land and attempt to takeoff from an unsuitable off-airport site.

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