Saturday, March 23, 2019

Taylorcraft BC12-D, N95514: Accident occurred September 04, 2018 in Cut Bank, Glacier County, Montana

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena, Montana

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Cut Bank, MT
Accident Number: GAA18CA533
Date & Time: 09/04/2018, 1920 MDT
Registration: N95514
Aircraft: Taylorcraft BC12
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, while flying west to check some fields and circle a friend's house, he began a right, descending turn about 200 ft above ground level. He added that he was aware of power wires in the area, but the sun was in his eyes, and the airplane was lower than he thought. The airplane struck power wires and then impacted terrain.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and the fuselage.

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 failure to see and avoid power wires while maneuvering at low altitude. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inability to determine the airplane's altitude due to sun glare.


Altitude - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Monitoring environment - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on operation (Cause)
Glare - Effect on personnel (Factor)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Maneuvering-low-alt flying
Low altitude operation/event
Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 25, 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 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 10/27/2014
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/27/2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 62 hours (Total, all aircraft), 17 hours (Total, this make and model), 30 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 17 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 14 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Taylorcraft
Registration: N95514
Model/Series: BC12 D
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1946
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Utility
Serial Number: 7814
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/31/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1200 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 5025.5 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: C65
Registered Owner: Skierka, Leo F.
Rated Power: 75 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KCTB, 3838 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0156 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 125°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.23 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Cut Bank, MT (CTB)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Cut Bank, MT (CTB)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1800 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  48.659722, -112.496111 (est)

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