Saturday, August 18, 2018

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper PA-18-150, N9884D; accident occurred June 12, 2018 in Gilliam Glacier, Alaska

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:

Location: Gilliam Glacier, AK
Accident Number: GAA18CA494
Date & Time: 08/12/2018, 1430 AKD
Registration: N9884D
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that the weather conditions were "gusty winds with intermittent rain," and the wind was a quartering headwind at the remote airstrip. During takeoff initial climb, a "gust of wind" forced the airplane back into ground effect and an additional gust forced the airplane back onto the airstrip. The right main landing gear collapsed, the right wing struck the ground, and the airplane came to rest nose down.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings.

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

The nearest automated weather observation station located at an airport 41 nautical miles from the accident site reported that, about 30 minutes prior the accident, the wind was from 170° true at 34 knots, gusting 45 knots. The pilot reported the wind was variable, 5 knots, gusting 22 knots. The pilot departed to the north.

The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had waited for "calmer conditions."

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 25, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/24/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 02/10/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 613 hours (Total, all aircraft), 575 hours (Total, this make and model), 563 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 51 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N9884D
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1959
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Restricted; Normal
Serial Number: 18-6905
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 10/27/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 3553.2 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C126 installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E3D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 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: PABI, 1277 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 41 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2153 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 64°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 7000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 13000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 16 knots / 34 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.65 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 18°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Gilliam Glacier, AK
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Fairbanks, AK (FAI)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1430 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: 63.699722, -147.126389 (est)

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