Friday, October 18, 2019

Aerodynamic Stall/Spin: Piper PA-18-150, N2894P; accident occurred October 16, 2019 in Gerlach, Washoe County, Nevada


Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Gerlach, NV
Accident Number: GAA20CA030
Date & Time: 10/16/2019, 1600 PDT
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Aerodynamic stall/spin
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, during approach to land on a dirt field, about 10 ft above ground level, the airplane yawed right, and the right wing aerodynamically stalled and impacted terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. 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 exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack during landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall. 


Angle of attack - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Aerodynamic stall/spin (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
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 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/07/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/07/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 627 hours (Total, all aircraft), 153 hours (Total, this make and model), 575 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 71 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N2894P
Model/Series: PA18 150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1955
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate:Normal 
Serial Number: 18-4492
Landing Gear Type:Tailwheel 
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/13/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2188.08 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2A
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: KSVE, 4149 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 31 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2255 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 275°
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: 230°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / -8°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Calneva, CA
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Calneva, CA
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:1600 PDT 
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: 40.335000, -119.908056 (est) 

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