Friday, January 10, 2020

Piper PA-18AS-125 Super Cub, N655HE: Accident occurred September 01, 2019 in Beluga, Alaska

View of airplane in ditch with damaged fuselage.
Federal Aviation Administration

View of damaged wings.
Federal Aviation Administration

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: Beluga, AK
Accident Number: GAA19CA521
Date & Time: 09/01/2019, 1620 AKD
Registration: N655HE
Aircraft: PIPER PA18
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot of the tailwheel and tundra tire-equipped airplane reported that, during takeoff on an off-airport field, the airplane had climbed 15 to 20 ft above the ground, but then began to descend. He reported that a wind gust "pushed" the airplane down. He then verified that the engine was at full power and attempted to climb, but the airplane's left wheel struck the ground, the airplane veered left, and came to rest in a ditch.

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 light and variable, gusting to 8 to 10 knots.

The pilot added that when the airplane was "hit" by the wind gust, the notch of flaps he was using "dropped out." He then verified full power and attempted to "grab [the] notch of flaps but [he] wasn't fast enough."

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 30, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Center
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 1 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/02/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 01/26/2019
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 227 hours (Total, all aircraft), 227 hours (Total, this make and model), 186 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 64 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N655HE
Model/Series: PA18 AS125
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1952
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-1740
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/27/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2000 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4619.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, aided in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2D
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:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered
Visibility:  7 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable / 10 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.6 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 56°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Palmer, AK (4AK6)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tyonek, AK
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 0700 AKD
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: 61.229444, -151.769167 (est)

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