Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub, N2432H: Accident occurred May 07, 2018 at Goose Bay Airport (Z40), Alaska

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage, Alaska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Goose Bay, AK
Accident Number: GAA18CA269
Date & Time: 05/07/2018, 1500 AKD
Registration: N2432H
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the student pilot in the tailwheel-equipped airplane, during his initial solo flight in the airport traffic pattern, he performed a go-around because "I did not like my approach." Following the next approach, he recalled that the airplane encountered a left crosswind gust when the airplane touched down on the gravel runway. He believed that the wind had shifted, and the airplane's tail was "blown" to the right, and its nose turned to the left. The airplane moved from the crown of the runway onto the down-sloping runway edge, and the tailwheel entered the soft gravel. The right wing tip then struck the ground, and the airplane exited the left side of the runway before it came to rest.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the right wing spar.

The nearest METAR, located 9 miles south of the accident site, reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 280° at 7 knots. The airplane landed on runway 8. The pilot reported that the wind at the time of the accident was variable at 6 knots, gusting to 10 knots.

The student reported that, "I should have caught that there had been a wind shift between my touch and go and when I ground looped my aircraft. In preparation for landing a final check of the windsock needs to be done, every time. If there is a crosswind, a wing low approach would have helped avoid losing control of the aircraft when I touched down."

The student reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures 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 student pilot's failure to maintain directional control during landing with a gusting tailwind.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tailwind - Effect on operation
Gusts - Effect on operation
Soft surface - Contributed to outcome

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Runway excursion 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 33, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-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: 05/19/2015
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 114 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model), 14 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 10 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N2432H
Model/Series: PA 18-150 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-7909184
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/25/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5214.63 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O320A2B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 160 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: PAED, 213 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2356 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 171°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Anchorage, AK (PALH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Goose Bay, AK (Z40)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Airport: GOOSE BAY (Z40)
Runway Surface Type: Gravel
Airport Elevation: 78 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 08
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Touch and Go 

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: 61.394722, -149.842222 (est)

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