Friday, October 18, 2019

Loss of Control in Flight: 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 Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Gerlach, NV
Accident Number: GAA20CA030
Date & Time: 10/16/2019, 1600 PDT
Registration: N2894P
Aircraft: Piper PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel and tundra tire-equipped airplane reported that, during approach to land on a dirt field, about 10 ft off the ground, the airplane yawed to the right, 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.

The pilot reported that the wind was variable at 10 to 13 knots. He added that, after exiting the airplane, he observed that the wind was "swirling" and not constant. He assumed that he encountered a quartering tailwind gust. The pilot was landing the airplane to northwest. 

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
Seats: 2
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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