Friday, September 27, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: Piper J3C-65, N33463; accident occurred September 26, 2019 at Hunt Field Airport (KLND), Lander, Fremont County, Wyoming

View of right wing damage.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of fuselage damage.
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado 

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lander, WY
Accident Number: GAA19CA575
Date & Time: 09/26/2019, 1450 MDT
Registration: N33463
Aircraft: Piper J3C
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that, during takeoff in ground effect, the airplane encountered a gust of wind from the left and the right wing struck the ground. The airplane drifted right, the main landing gear impacted a fence parallel to the runway, and the airplane nosed over.

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

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

The airport's automated weather observation station reported that, about the time of the accident, the wind was from 280° at 18 knots, gusting to 28 knots. The airplane was departing from runway 04.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/20/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 12/23/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3475 hours (Total, all aircraft), 60 hours (Total, this make and model), 3406 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 44 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 18 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N33463
Model/Series: J3C 65
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1940
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 5973
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 07/19/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1100 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4640.26 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: C-85-8FJ
Registered Owner: Lander Skymaster Llc
Rated Power: 85 hp
Operator: Lander Skymaster Llc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLND, 5558 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 98°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 18 knots / 28 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 280°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.76 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 27°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Lander, WY (LND)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Lander, WY (LND)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1448 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Hunt Field (LND)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 5588 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 04
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5000 ft / 75 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None 

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: 42.815278, -108.728611 (est)

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